Unfinished which also comes in the audiobook format, recorded in her own voice, gives us a glimpse of Priyanka’s formative years, her winning Miss India and Miss World beauty pageants… the challenges she faced while carving a niche for herself both in India and Hollywood. It’s aptly named Unfinished because when it comes to Priyanka Chopra, there are no full stops indeed. From juggling an acting career for 20 years, turning producer, starring in a Hollywood drama series, being appointed as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador, marrying singer Nick Jonas to making a name for herself in Hollywood, Priyanka surely has come a long, long way. Yes, she has broken all kinds of ceilings and has shown us how it’s done without breaking sweat. More power to her! If her social media posts are anything to go by, she’s living the good life. Inspiring millions in turn to dream…She has launched a thousand brands, inspired a million dreams. Despite all the accolades, her head is firmly on her shoulders. She remains as amenable as ever… no airs and always ready with a smile to welcome you… The actress is in the news again. Her movie The White Tiger has just been released on OTT. She may not be driving the movie but she’s driving many conversations about the film… working in the OTT space and her memoir and of course the lockdown and her living in London for a while, shooting new projects.
HOW WOULD YOU LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR?
With a lot of gratitude. I was blessed to have the comfort of a home, food to eat, surrounded by people who I love and the opportunity to continue to work. We were safe and healthy and that for me was most important. I count my blessings every day.
WHAT HAS THE PANDEMIC TAUGHT YOU?
Basically, being in this quarantine made me realise that some of the stresses we put on ourselves in our normal lives may or may not be important. It’s good to take a breather, take stock of your life, and tell your loved ones you love them. The one thing that keptme calm was constantly reminding myself how lucky and blessed I am.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF DURING THE LOCKDOWN?
A lot… given that I wrote most of my memoir Unfinished in that time. But more than anything else, for someone who was always on the go, doing 100 things at one go, I learnt that I could completely slow it down and still be ok. I found things to do, learnt how to pace myself and I think I came out of that experience calmer and more at ease.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF nTHE LOCKDOWN FOR YOU?
Getting to spend so much quality time with my husband, which was the biggest highlight because, given our hectic individual schedules, we don’t get such extended time together. Also, writing the book, adopting our new puppy, Panda and just spending time with the family and the doggies.
UNFINISHED HAS HIT THE STANDS. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO WRITE IT?
The journey of Unfinished started about two years ago as I was nearing the milestone of being in the entertainment business for 20 years…. basically 20 in 2020. I am at a place in my life where I can look back and introspect and I thought it was a good time as any to pen down this journey I’ve been on. I hope to give readers an insight into my journey in my own words… it’s sort of the ‘in-between interviews’ version of my life…
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER IN THE WHITE TIGER WHICH RECENTLY RELEASED ON OTT?
The White Tiger is not Pinky Madam’s (my character in the film) story. Yet she is intrinsically linked to how the story unfolds. Director Ramin Bahrani has developed and expanded the role of Pinky more than what we read of her in the book. She is born to a hardworking, middle-class family of immigrants in the US and has a tough life. Marrying the affluent Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and moving to India (for a short time, she thinks) isn’t what she imagines it to be. Pinky is woke, but she’s woke as long as it’s convenient for her.
DO YOU MISS WORKING IN BOLLYWOOD? DO YOU PLAN TO SIGN A BOLLYWOOD FILM ANYTIME SOON?
Yes, I do… very much. I’m currently discussing some great projects and hopefully, I will announce something soon.
WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO WORKING ON THE OTT PLATFORM?
I already am… I already have multiple projects underway for the same. OTT is the future of entertainment and we have to catch up with the world in creating the right kind of content for these platforms. The White Tiger just released on Netflix, Citadel is being made for Amazon Prime and I have multiple projects being discussed for my Production House, Purple Pebble Pictures with various OTT platforms across the world.
ANY HINDI FILM OR WEB SERIES YOU WISH YOU HAD DONE.
Delhi Crime… but honestly my friend Shefali Shah is just amazing in it.
AT THIS STAGE IN LIFE, WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST HEART’S DESIRE?
Just that everyone I love is safe, happy and healthy.
ONE THING THAT YOU HOPE HAPPENS FOR YOU IN 2021.
That I am able to shoot again and finish and launch all the amazing things I’ve been working on. Basically, for us to move forward after so many months of standing still.
HOW DO YOU THINK THE BUSINESS OF MOVIES HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY THE PANDEMIC?
There has obviously been a clear impact… from shoots being called off, to many releases moving from theatres to streaming platforms, the industry has had a tough year. We also have to remember that the lockdowns and restrictions caused the loss of livelihood for many people within the industry… technicians, support crew, actors, dancers etc. It’s been especially hard on them. And we can’t forget the plight of theatres as well, which were one of the last businesses to open. But there was a positive side… it made us all think more out of the box and explore new ideas.