‘PUBLIC FIGURES ARE SOFT TARGETS’
Priyanka Chopra believes in speaking out, but knows that headline-makers can be misunderstood
Global domination is what Priyanka Chopra wanted when she spoke to a foreign publication in February last year. Just over four months into 2017, she has certainly gone global, with a string of red-carpet appearances, a hot new Hollywood movie, and moving in the same circles as acting legends like Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep.
As the Bollywood actor with possibly the highest international profile right now, Priyanka has a voice. And though some Indian celebrities are cagey about talking openly about issues, that’s not Priyanka. “I don’t usually refrain from talking. I am opinionated and if I have an opinion on something, I will voice it,” she says, in the context of Streep’s speech at this year’s Golden Globes, an event that Priyanka attended.
At the awards, Streep had targeted US President Donald Trump for his insult to a disabled reporter. Can a celebrity talk about issues like that in India? Priyanka doesn’t believe that it’s difficult to express an opinion in India. “But I do believe that public figures are soft targets, because it’s easier to make a headline about someone saying something. Then it’s sometimes misconstrued and that gets blown out of proportion. But, I can’t speak on behalf of everyone in Bollywood,” says the actor.
She has unequivocally expressed her opinion on the death sentence for the convicts in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case. Her impassioned note published on Twitter said: “Justice — that is what an entire country demanded five years ago and never let the nation forget. Each voice that joined the battle was strident and clear — the six must be punished. Finally, they will pay.”
In her professional sphere, her mission is to break moulds. She says, “I can’t single-handedly hold a mashaal and say that I’m here to change the world’s perception of Indian actors. But in my individual journey, I’ll never be stereotyped.”