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Priyanka Chopra
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Created by rahul on 25th Feb 2007 , 5:33 am INDIA, INDIA
Description RADIO SARGAM INTERVIEW: PRIYANKA CHOPRA! When Priyanka Chopra won the Miss World title, little did she know she would also be crowned with immense success in Bollywood a few years down the line. So much so that instead of being compared with other beauty queens like Lara Dutta and Dia Mirza, today she is put in the league of Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta. But maintaining the lead position hasn’t been easy. Controversies have still not ceased surrounding her – be it in the form of cases slapped by unsatisfied parties or co-workers indulging in mudslinging or being linked-up with co-stars. But with dedication towards work and determination to reach the top, nothing seems bad enough to distract the 23-year-old. As the pretty lady has eyes fixed on grabbing the best of films and dishing out even better performances, we catch up with Chopra for a candid chat… You virtually entered the industry yesterday and have managed to make it to the Top Five Actresses slot today… Did you yourself expect such success? Honestly, no… at least not so fast. I haven’t spent too many years in the industry but I am glad the audiences have accepted me. Thanks to the different kind of films I have done -- be it Hero, where I had a very small role or Aitraaz, where I couldn’t have got bolder -- people have starting looking at me as an actress and not as some pretty woman who can dance well. That’s what I craved for since the day I decided to enter the industry. What do you think has really worked for you… the right kind of scripts; working with the best of people… it can’t be a fluke all the time… It is not a fluke at all. I have worked hard for every film that has fared very well or even not-so-well. All the same, I don’t want to sit and analyze what has made things work for me. It obviously has to be a little of everything. As I said, now that people have accepted me as an actress, I have to continue doing the good work. Haven’t you been very choosy about the kind of work you do? I have been consciously selective in terms of the kind of roles I do. If Andaaz was more of a masala film, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi was an out-n-out comedy, while Aitraaz was the peak of what I could do in terms of being bold or sensual. I would hate repeating what I have done once. Agreed. But your over-selectiveness has often landed you in trouble. Right from the beginning of your career, you’ve walked out of a lot of films… I wouldn’t deny what you’ve just said. But the problem was I had no film background. I was just 17 when I won the Miss World contest and gradually entered the industry. Coming from a small town in North India, the only filmmakers I had heard of were Yash Chopra and Karan Johar. I didn’t even know filmmakers, whom I eventually ended up working with. I didn’t have anyone to guide me. But as I carried on, I developed the sense of right and wrong for my career and accordingly I walked out of a lot of films. It was a mistake, I agree. But it was inevitable. Aren’t you still reeling under the after-effects of such behaviour? There are a couple of cases filed against you… your ex-secretary is creating chaos… People can do what they like. I don’t bother too much. I haven’t wronged anyone. I have never issued any press statement maligning someone or indulged in mudslinging. I have chosen to remain silent with grace. I don’t think I will have to pay for the crimes I have not committed. That apart, how do you react when you are linked up with your co-stars? Doesn’t it get awkward working with them again…? Not really. I know what is true and what’s not. Similarly the co-stars I am linked up with are also aware of facts. There were times when I used to get upset over such things, but my co-stars sat down to explain to me that there’s a price to pay for what you get. Becoming a celebrity is not that easy. But doesn’t it get irritable, when you are linked up with both Akshay (Kumar) and Harman (Baweja). How do you handle it? It gets irritable when the press keeps asking me about it time and again (laughs). Beyond that, it doesn’t matter, as far as it doesn’t affect my work. What matters to me is when a director or producer says he liked working with me and repeats me in his next film. His approaching me or not completely depends on my dedication to work and not to whom I am linked up with. Of course, my parents, especially my Dad feels the pain when unrealistic things are written about me. But then my parents know what I do, who are my friends, where do I hangout… so there is no question of their doubting me. Anyway, all these issues must be suddenly looking insignificant when you place them against the Colombo incident. You were practically six feet away from death… Eleven-feet away. I was getting ready for a performance. I saw something bursting and before I could realise what happened I saw a few bodies on the ground. There was one woman without a hand begging for help. All of us were taken away from the place as fast as possible. But that was the scariest thing to happen ever because I had never seen anyone die. We had just gone to entertain people and I don’t know why the need for all this was. The incident obviously had an effect on all us. I had fever the next day and when we had to repeat the performance in Dubai, we were just so uncomfortable. That I am a celebrity and my career is going great is almost an irrelevant question… I just thank God for keeping me alive. That was my closest brush with death. Coming back to your assignments, isn’t bagging the sequel to Koi Mil Gaya an achievement of sorts? That it is. Since it is a sequel, the kids are shown as grown-ups. So Preity Zinta could have obviously not done the role. When Rakesh Roshan approached me, I was very excited about the project and gave it a go ahead. But before that starts, I am waiting for a couple of other films to finish. There is Vipul Shah’s Waqt, Sanjay F Gupta’s Karm and Barsaat directed by Sunil Darshan and also Yakeen, where I play a completely deglamourised character. All of them should release around April-May 2005. So there is a lot more of me that you will get to see.
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