“I don’t know how to act’                       Bombay Times |10/1/2005

Bollywood babe Priyanka Chopra who’s been creating a stir says that she still has a long way to go in her career

TIME FLIES: Oh my Gosh! I can’t believe it. It’s been five years since I came to this city for the Femina Miss India contest. I was 17 when I came. I’m now 22 andI’ve been doing films for two years now. By God’s grace my films have done well.

GLAMOUR FIELD NOT PLANNED: I was aiming for an engineering degree in Australia. I was on another tangent altogether. I never thought of acting. I have never, ever in my life planned anything.

Even the Miss India contest was not planned. I was tudying for my Board exams. My brother, along with my mother, sent in my pictures on the quiet. I got a call from Femina and they told me to come down for the preliminary rounds.

THE CHANGE BEGINS: I won the contest in January 2000, which I never expected. I had never modelled in my life. Basically, from High School I went directly to Miss India. It was quite strange for me. I was only 17. I did not know what was happening.

After I won the Miss World title, filmmakers approached me, but I did not want to sign anything because of my commitments. After my reign ended, things just happened, one by one.

ACTING CLASSES: I have not been to any acting classes, which is why I’m so grateful that it has worked out. I think I’m a director’s actress. I don’t know how to act. My first two directors worked hard on me. I owe them a lot for shaping me.

In fact, I tell my Mum that it was because of her that I have become an actor. If she had not sent my pics I would not have been an actress. My parents, both of whom are doctors, are very happy with whatever I do as long as I am happy. They have never made me feel they are not happy with what I do.

I believe we become better people when bad things happen to us. Both, the good and bad have happened to me. But I think a balance has been maintained and that’s totally because of my family. I’ve never been a flamboyant person. I’m not the one you’ll see at parties. I’m very into my work and this is what has taken me through all the bad times that I have gone through.

HELLO MUMBAI: My parents moved to Mumbai with me. I have always lived with my parents. They had a hospital in Bareily and I owe them a lot for leaving that and coming here to help me look for what I wanted to do. That’s one of the biggest sacrifices my parents have made, but but they never let me feel that they did something for me.

MAMA’S GIRL: I’m kiddish in many ways. I can’t travel alone. I cannot be on a flight without my mom. I can’t be in a hotel room all by myself. I can’t even be in a strange city by myself. I need my mom all the time. I still have to take permission from my parents before going anywhere.

LONG WAY TO GO: I’m seven films old. I still think I have a lot to learn and a lot to do. I don’t think I have made a mark. I want people to know me as an actress. I want people to know that she can do any role. I hate this stupid sexy, seductress, sizzling tag that I have. I mean sizzle as an actor is great but for people to think that you can only look sexy and not be an actress is very annoying. I would want to be known as somebody who is good in performing rather than somebody who just looks good.

NEGATIVE SHADES: Negative shades are damn difficult to do. I have done one, I don’t know if I’d be able to do another one for a very long time. I prefer doing drama. Romantic films are an absolute favourite of mine. I love watching comedy as well. They say nau ras hote hai acting ke. I want to be able to try all of them and maybe be good at them.

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Copyright 2006 Martin D'Souza. All rights reserved.