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Interviews - Priyanka Chopra
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|Priyanka Chopra loves being
Mumbai, Jan. 9 Popular Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra says work is her life and she would never complain about working too much, a newspaper reported on Tuesday. ``I hate taking even a day off from my work,'' she said. ``Out of the day's 24 hours I don't mind working for 15,'' the beauty queen-turned-actress told the Times of India newspaper. Chopra said if she was not filming, she could be found reading scripts or selecting outfits for her next movie.
She played the female lead in India's first superhero film ``Krrish'' and had an action-packed role in ``Don'' - both movies were hits last year.
Chopra also said she enjoyed the fame that was part of the package of being a movie star, although she guards details about her private life.
``To me loss of privacy is a small price to pay for fame and adulation,'' she said. ``But I do know where to draw the line. I would never let people know who I am seeing or where I eat or sleep.''
|Priyanka Chopra says she
needs more box office hits
Mumbai, Nov. 29 (AP): Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra says she is focussed on building on a recent string of blockbuster successes.
A former Miss World, Chopra played the female lead in this year's hits ``Krrish'' and ``Don.'' She says she still has a lot to prove after three years in the movie industry.
It was a continuous exercise to convince filmmakers ``that putting money on me would mean returns,'' she said in an interview published in the December issue of Cine Blitz movie magazine. ``I have to master the art of delivering what's expected of me. What's expected of me is professionalism,'' she said. ``What's expected of me is good box office results.'' Chopra says instinct has always guided her and if a movie fails, she has no regrets.
``If my gut feeling says I should do a particular film, I do it,'' she said. ``If something doesn't go well, it doesn't.''
|IFFI: Priyanka sizzles in
Goa: The 37th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) kicked off amid sun and sand of Goa where Bollywood stars started pouring in right from early morning. CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand caught up with Priyanka Chopra who will be performing at the festival's opening ceremony on Thursday.
Rajeev Masand: Welcome to Goa, how are you feeling today?
Priyanka Chopra: I'm feeling good. It's a little early in the morning but its all good.
Rajeev Masand: Are you going to perform on Thursday night?
Priyanka Chopra: Yes, I am. I have rehearsed a lot for the show and after the tiring schedule I hope it turns out fine.
Rajeev Masand: Are you likely to catch any movies on Friday?
Priyanka Chopra: I would have loved to catch a movie or two at the film festival but I have to go back for shooting on Friday morning. I have to run back as soon as I can.
I love Goa but I'm too tired and because of the tight schedule I won't be able to stay back for long. It's going to be an in and out trip.
Rajeev Masand: Are you a movie buff?
Priyanka Chopra: Yes, I am a movie buff and I love watching films but it’s sad I won’t be able to catch any films at the festival.
Rajeev Masand: Are you going to be here next time to watch the festival?
Priyanka Chopra: I think so, I really plan to do so.
|October 13, 2006.
Priyanka talks about "DON" and her experience in working with Shah Rukh
How excited are you about the release of 'Don'?
Of course, I'm extremely excited and looking forward to the release! It's among the biggest films of my career and my first with Shah Rukh! Everyone's looking forward to watching it and it's worked out beautifully. I've had a great time working with such a talented bunch of people like Shah Rukh, Ritesh (Sidhwani) and Farhan (Akhtar) and learnt a lot. I cherish every moment of 'Don'.
Recently there was a rumour that you wereunhappy about sharing poster space with Kareena Kapoor and Ishaa Koppikar, who've also been given a lot of prominence in 'Don'. Comment. (Laughs) I've become a favourite with rumour mongers! First they said that I had committed suicide when I was in Adelaide with my aunt! Then someone said that I had been throwing attitude on the sets of another film. Later I heard that I was apparently angry because I had to share the promotional campaign of 'Don' with Kareena and Ishaa. How do you expect me to react? I've been out of India for nearly three months on work. I've been living out of a suitcase! Just because I haven't been in Mumbai for long, people are busy creating controversies. Why would I be insecure of Kareena and Ishaa? I've worked with Kareena in 'Aitraaz' before and we got along well. In fact, she adds to the star set-up of 'Don'. Even Ishaa has done very well in the film. I want to put these baseless rumours to rest once and for all!
Was it difficult to play Zeenat Aman's character in 'Don'?
That was never my objective. I would never want to imitate Roma the way Zeenat ji did it. People would start comparing us and I would fall short of expectations! (Smiles) I was conscious all through that I had to essay the character of Roma in my own look, way and style. The Roma of the earlier 'Don' is different from the Roma of the contemporary one. I play a martial arts expert in the film and have actually done all the stunts myself! No body double has been used! I had to execute really high kicks! (Laughs) 'Don' will show me in a completely new 'avatar'.
Tell us about some of the stunts in 'Don'?
I have some great stunts in 'Don' and went through intensive training for nearly six months. I've never been so physically involved in a role.
How different is the new 'Don' from the old one?
'Don' was a cult film of its time. Farhan (Akhtar) has given the new 'Don' his own interpretation and perspective. It is more young, cool, contemporary and slick, if you know what I mean. Even the characters have been very differently etched and enacted. I won't reveal much but there are some interesting changes in the storyline as well!
You said you've looked up to Shah Rukh as a kid. And now you've actually worked with him. Describe the experience.
I'm at a loss of words to describe how I felt on hearing that I'd be working with Shah Rukh. He is among the most gifted, passionate and hardworking actors, which is why he is where he is today. I've always wondered where he gets his energy supply from! (Laughs) He is always teeming with life and keeps everyone on their toes. He is so involved in the film and participates on every aspect of it. Farhan (Akhtar) and Shah Rukh would be in a constant discussion mode. It's so inspirational to work with an actor and human being like him! He's always teaching you something or the other.
Tell us something about Shah Rukh we don't know!
He is a hardcore gamer! He loves video games!
|October 11, 2006
Did you enjoy doing Salam-E-Ishq?
One hundred per cent. It is amazing how Nikhil Advani has handled the big cast in the film.
What is your role?
We hear you created lot of
problems on the sets. You asked for a limousine and wanted to do away with
Merc. Then, you didn't want to wear the costumes that were given to you?
Your 'Aap Ki Khatir' bombed,
and did Lara walk out from that because of you?
Going to 'Krrish'. The critics
There were rumours that you
were once again seeing Aseem Merchant?
Did you do 'Love story 2050'
since you wanted to help your 'good friend' Harnam Baweja, Harry's son?
Congrats on Krrish. Did you expect it would be such a big hit?
“I never say it, but I did expect Krrish would be a success. I didn’t think it would be such a phenomenon though. It has surpassed all my expectations.”
Did Rakesh Roshan mention
a sequel to Krrish while working on the film?
What’s Aap Ki Khatir all
They say having two actresses
in the same film creates quite a few problems for the director. And you’ve
worked with Amisha in Aap Ki Khatir...
How’s it working with Dharmesh
Don’t you think Akshaye Khanna
and you make for an unconventional pairing?
Akshaye is known to be moody
|August 30, 2006
You have been having a hit streak with Bluffmaster! and Krrish. Even the films in which you did cameos, Taxi No. 9211 and 36 China Town have worked. Any changes with success?
Though people’s perceptions have changed, I as a person am the same. But as an actor, every film changes something for me. It’s always an uphill journey.
Aap Ki Khatir is your first film with Akshaye Khanna, but if you count your 36 China Town cameo, it is your second. How was he as a co-star?
Before I began working with Akshaye I was actually stressed about this, thanks to all the things that I had heard about him from others, because I like to have a pleasant working environment. But he’s so damn sweet! Off-screen, he’s a thorough gentleman. On-screen, he is such a good actor! In fact, I have always been his fan!
Which other actors are yopu a fan of?
Madhuri Dixit! Even if I am considered two per cent of her I will think of myself as hugely talented.I also love Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. They obviously believe so much in what I too think -- that is, they are not interested in just going on the sets and finishing their shots, but in living the roles and breathing life into the characters. They make the characters seem very real and yet infuse them with magic. I guess it’s about loving one’s work, which is what I admire and try and emulate about them.
How important is a co-star’s contribution for a good performance?
Of course, it is very important. If a co-star has stupid lines or speaks them stupidly and you are being shot in a close-up, you can never act well. If a co-star is not serious and involved, it can get very irritating. Especially if you are a serious actor and enjoy acting like I do. The good thing about this is that in my experience selfish actors never succeed. It is only those who get involved in the film’s totality that have successful careers.
Have you always enjoyed acting, or was there some point at which you began to love it?
I hated acting when I started out. And I am talking about films. I would do theatre when in school. But on the first shoot ever, I was told how I had to say my lines when I reached a certain mark on the floor and had to do it when looking in a particular direction. It was all very difficult. I went home and howled and told mom, “Yeh mujhse nahin hoga!”. She told me, “Okay, now that you have signed the film, finish it. Then you can go back to your college.” I was an engineering student then. Now, I cannot think of doing anything other than acting.
What’s with the cameos?
Oh, I did those for friends. 36 China Town was for Abbas-Mustan, the men whose work I have loved since Humraaz and also those responsible for giving me Aitraaz. Rohan Sippy is also a friend - I completely enjoyed working on Bluffmaster!
What’s your character like in Aap Ki Khatir?
I am this ’I know everything’ kind of girl in Aap Ki Khatir who is forever in an illusory world, and this is very unsettling when things go wrong. But unlike his past films, this is one film of Dharmesh Darshan that is light and frothy rather than dramatic and intense.
Once they reach a certain status, all female actors have this yen to do great, meaningful roles in middle-of-the-road, art or parallel films. Haven’t you been bitten by this bug?
(Sternly) I consider all my roles meaningful. I don’t think that only working in such films make one a good actor. You can give your best to any role and grow as an actor. I prefer to do films of the kind that I like to watch.
You have done solo leads and two-heroine films. What made you accept a six-hero-six-heroine subject like Salaam-E-Ishq?
Oh, it’s got such a wonderful script In terms of footage there may be less for every actor but that film has come out fabulously. Just watch it and you will know what I mean!
Well, I am hoping that I am on, because it’s a great subject! I would like to talk about this film only once it gets moving.
What else have you taken up?
Well, Don is complete and Love Story 2050 is taking off. There are one or two other projects lined up.
What is happening about the film you have done with Govinda?
Last heard, they were planning to release it with a new title. I really don’t know what’s happening. The best part is that it is not a typical Govinda film but an interesting romantic thriller.
So much has been said about your singing abilities - you even sang a line in Right here right now... in Bluffmaster!. Do you ever get involved in your music, like attending sittings or recordings? And do you make suggestions?
I do, whenever possible. I have a good ear for music though my singing is for others to judge! But what makes the song recording process interesting is watching how it evolves from its scratch version to the final product, and often sounds so completely different in its recorded version! The process of how a song is created and developed is completely fascinating.
You made news recently because of your being chosen to speak at theGlobal Leadership Forum in Malaysia. How was the experience?
It was fantastic! I was there right among all those heavyweight corporate heads from all countries! My topic was “Innovation Of The Competitive Edge”. Of course, I was a bundle of nerves before the actual moment but it went off really well. I felt amused that people there told me to take up a career in Public Speaking! So now I have an alternative career too! (Laughs)
What is your stand on the pesticides issue?
I am not very happy with the statistics being offered. I think that all MNCs are bound to be targeted anyway. Besides, the authorities should be more worried about many other things that affect the health of citizens far more than colas.
What are you doing in Dharmesh Darshan’s Aap Ki Khatir?
Agreed that some of Dharmesh’s films have been deemed outdated and traditional. But Aap Ki Khatir will silence all his critics. This film is not over the top; it’s quite stylish and subtle. Especially Priyanka Chopra’s character is not like any other Dharmesh Darshan heroine.
Is it a desi version of The
Bollywood makes the maximum
romantic films. How is your role different?
How come you agreed to render
a nazm for Aap Ki Khatir?
You’ve sung it with a lot
of feeling. What, or rather, whom were you thinking about?
What makes a great film?
A recent film you wanted
to be part of?
Is it true that you and co-star
Priyanka Chopra didn’t get along?
Rumours insist that you are
upset with Subhash Ghai also?
Are you a romantic guy?
Why do you act in such few
And why are actors so fake?
Do you still watch a lot
|I was in Kuala Lampur for only four
Priyanka Chopra has returned triumphant from her first speech on Tuesday evening on an international forum.
I was in Kuala Lampur for only four hours. I landed, gave my speech and flew out to Mumbai. It was rather scary because I was addressing a very distinguished international audience. But the speech went very well. The question and answer also went well.
The speaker after me was Sir Tim Berners Lee, founder of the world wide web, and before me was Dr Jeffrey Sonenfeld, founder of Yale.
So I felt I was sandwiched between two stalwarts who'd crush me. Fortunately I stood my ground. Other speakers included Donald Trump and Gerald M Levin (former chairman Time-Warner Inc). In comparison I was just a novice."
Priyanka was proud to be addressing a world forum. "The challenge was big because I was representing my country. I felt I did a good job. Of course I'd like to represent my country more often. I feel I've so many puddings to dip my finger into. It's all exciting and new. I always had a social side to me.
I don't like to talk about my social activities except when I need to bring media focus to an issue, like an AIDS campaign. I feel we celebrities need to create an awareness about critical issues. It's our way of giving back to a society that's given us so much love and adulation."
It wasn't just the nervousness that she feels about her first- ever speech on a global forum on 1 August that makes Priyanka Chopra jittery.
She's also terribly apprehensive about her father's surgery for which he leaves with her mom for Boston on 6 August. "I hope this will be his last and totally successful surgery. We've gone through enough stress and need a break now. Hopefully Dad will be totally out of it."
Unfortunately she cannot accompany her parents to the US since she'd shooting in Mumbai for Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq. But she hopes she'd be able to be in Boston at least on the day of the surgery.
She still recalls with a shudder how her kid-brother find out about the nature of their father's illness from a newspaper report.
"We had told him that dad was ill. But we hadn't informed him of the nature of his illness. He's just thirteen, yaar! To have to know about your father is serious illness through the newspaper at that age isn't easy. I think it made my little brother grow up overnight."
Priyanka had left for Kuala Lampur to address the Global Leadership Forum with a heavy heart. Not just her dad's surgery, but a good friend has fallen ill and has been hospitalized.
"Simple Kapadia is not just my first costume designer she has also become a good friend during the making of Guddu Dhanoa's film. Now when we're shooting the film again Simple and I were really bonding.
She told me about her illness. But she said she was doing fine. The next thing I know she's in hospital. I know what a family goes through when someone falls ill. We've been through it. I wouldn't wish this one anyone."
24 July, 2006
From The Hero to Krrish, how has your journey
Tell me something about your forthcoming
film Aap Ki Khatir
What is your character in the film?
So do you eventually fall in love with
Akshaye Khanna in the film?
How was your experience working with Akshaye
for the first time?
After Aap Ki Khatir, Don is due for release
in Diwali. Did you pay special attention to Zeenat Aman's charcter to shoot
for the remake?
Did you have to undergo any special training
How was your experience working with Shah
Rukh Khan in the film?
What happened to London Dreams?
When will you start shooting for Love Story
So how is Mumbai going to be in 2050?
Have you hiked your rates after the success
Do you take interest in the business of
You are a good singer. Will you ever sing
for a film?
Did the health minister approach you to
not endorse cola brands?
If you are, will you stop endorsing them?
|A quiet birthday for Priyanka Chopra
Former Miss World Priyanka Chopra turned 24 in her ‘quietest’ birthday yet.With her father being seriously ill and in and out of hospital, it was a subdued affair with just a handful of friends for dinner on her birthday Monday "I guess this must be my quietest birthday ever. With my dad being ill it just didn't feel the same," said the crestfallen birthday girl."Besides, I have been shooting 'Bluff Master' with Abhishek Bachchan in the nights. By the time I come home the milkman is making his rounds! Where is the energy to do anything else except sleep?"
A few Bollywood filmmakers are gearing up to remake the Amitabh Bachchan classics of the 70s.
It looks like the season of remakes in Bollywood. Young director Farhan Akhtar is remaking the Bachchan thriller Don with Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra in the leading roles. On the other hand, Ram Gopal Varma is gearing up to pay homage to his favorite Hindi movie Sholay and has roped in newcomer Mohit Ahlawat to play the role of Jai, immortalized by Bachchan in the Ramesh Sippy classic.And now, it is David Dhawan , the master of celluloid comedy, who is planning to remake the Bachchan starrer Amar Akbar Anthony . The movie’s remake, says Dhawan, will be his personal tribute to his guru, filmmaker Manmohan Desai. Dhawan says it has been his long cherished dream to remake Amar Akbar Anthony.
“I kept postponing my dream project. But now I’m going to do it within a year,” Dhawan is quoted as saying.
The original movie, starring Amitabh, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shabana Azmi and Nitu Singh, was a roller coaster entertainer. Dhawan says his version of the movie will have present-day established stars, but they have not been finalized as yet. One problem that is dogging Dhawan is where to relocate the plot of the original movie. Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Don’ will be modern and techno-savvy. Ramu’s Sholay will be relocated from Rampur village to Mumbai underworld. Manmohan Desai’s ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ was located in Mumbai. Dhawan still has to decide whether the story of his remake version will be set in Mumbai or elsewhere, and what other changes can be incorporated to make the remake version fresh.
|She’s 22, sexy, successful and has that
touch of controversy that adds up to ‘star’ value. No wonder Priyanka Chopra
is snaking her way up the numbers ladder in Bollywood today. With hits
aplenty tucked under her slim-fit belt, the youngster is not only looking
‘hot’, but signing up with top banners in filmbiz. And her biggest banner
is up next – the Abbas-Mustan directed ‘Aitraaz’ from the Mukta Arts’ stable,
where Priyanka dares to play the ‘anti-heroine’ ... pretty early in her
“Kajol has done it and Shah Rukh, too,” she points out. “I play Sonia who is a very ambitious girl, who is in love with Akshay (Kumar)’s character. She breaks up with him, because she doesn’t want to get tied down by marriage. Later, when she’s achieved her ambitions, she wants him back, even though he’s married. She gets obsessed with him.” A difficult role to essay, no doubt, with Priyanka doing her homework to portray a younger, then older version of Sonia. “I’ve also changed my voice to make it sound authentic and enhance the role,” Chopra explains. “I’ve changed my clothes, my look, even the characteristics.” Still, the stress didn’t seem to show on the sets, with the gal being as chilled out as ever; hobnobbing with her female co-star, where others might have got a game of one-upmanship going. She explains, “I am friends with all my co-stars – whether it’s Kareena, Lara, Preity or Rani. I don’t have hang-ups. Even with Bipasha in ‘Barsaat’, or in other cases, I’ve said so many things that actually enhance them, because I know it will work for my film.” So much so that she even seemed cool to the competition, in the battle for the ‘sexiest’ title - Mallika Sherawat included. “I think Mallika is awesome,” she laughs. “I love her interviews. She’s such a bold, ‘I am what I am’ kind of girl. I think it takes a lot of guts to do that!”
Priyanka seemed to get along well with her ‘heroes’ too. Was that the reason for her great chemistry with Akshay? The ‘Aitraaz’ ‘numbers’ were sizzling with it. “What you see in the promos are the hottest scenes in the film,” she says with a giggle. “So don’t go expecting any more. It’s the story and the treatment that will glue you to your seat.”
We shifted to the current talk of ‘sexual harassment’ and how women can accuse any man of rape and get away with it easier – much like her character in ‘Aitraaz’? Inspired greatly by the Kobe Bryant case, and by Madhur Bhandarkar (according to the directors) closer home. “It depends. Alywas, more often than not, it is the woman who suffers. Because in our country they’re told ‘Okay, you have to bring three witnesses who saw you getting raped!’ That’s unreasonable. As for bad women, I don’t think such things happen in our country, because women are brought up with good values in our culture. I think in our country men are more in a position to take advantage of women.”
Not really. Both the films belong to different genres. I play a glamorous girl in Andaaz, while in The Hero, I play the role of a deglam Pakistani Muslim doctor who is clad fully from head to toe. Since my characters in the two films are vastly different, there is no basis for comparison. So I don’t think it is going to affect me much. Anyway, I don’t think an actor can manipulate his or her releases, unless it is a home production. I’m new to this industry, so I don’t know what really works in one’s favor here. More than being nervous about both my films releasing simultaneously, I’m apprehensive about seeing myself on the big screen. On second thoughts, it is rather ironic that out of the eight films I have on hand today, these two are the only ones where I’m working with another heroine.
Aren’t you wary
of the obvious comparisons that will be drawn between you and Lara Dutta
But the competition
must be getting to you sometimes, surely.
While some filmmakers
are eager to work with you again, others claim they have had nasty experiences
Much was also
said about your father forcing your producers to further his music album.
Too many people
have too many negative things to say about you.
When India won
all the three titles in 2000, many felt the jury was inclined to favor
a third world country.
do you feel bad you couldn’t debut with Humraaz?
When you’d entered
the industry, you claimed you had to be a part of a camp to rule the roost.
Do you still believe that?
Do you think producers
mostly offer you glamorous roles since you’re a model?
How far would
walked out of Sanjay Gupta’s Plan claiming she didn’t want to play second
fiddle to you. Comment.
Are you ready
to fall in love?
are the films you have on hand now?
Priyanka Chopra on why she prefers the marquee to her man
She's in a tizz. Rockin' round the clock for Rakesh Roshan's Koi Mil Gaya. Patiently I wait for Preity Zinta to give me the time of day. She does, just before jetting off to Delhi for her brother's wedding... and then a quickie holiday.
2001: Priyanka Chopra's term as Ms World ended.
her eyes heavenwards, she remarks, "I'm destiny's child. I didn't even
think I'd be Ms India someday. It was my parents who sent my photographs
to Femina. Someone up there likes me. Without a little tug here and a little
push there, I may never have become Ms World... or landed a career in the
Chopra get ready to rock
be some mistake, surely. The person I'm expecting to interview is Miss
World, Priyanka Chopra.
the thought strikes her that she isn't exactly a model. She exclaims, "You
know the first time I walked on the ramp was for Miss India! I didn't know
a thing about modelling or showbiz before that."
then preparations began for the Miss World title. She went through the
usual rigours of diet, exercise and meditation. She recalls, "When I saw
the girls at the pageant, I told my mom let's go home. They were all so
gorgeous. And then when I saw that Zee was sponsoring it, my heart nearly
sank. I thought there was no way I could win it. When I saw Hemant Trivedi
in the judges list, I just bid goodbye to the title. "
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