‘PUB­LIC FIG­URES ARE SOFT TAR­GETS’

Priyanka Chopra be­lieves in speak­ing out, but knows that head­line-mak­ers can be mis­un­der­stood

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sneha Ma­hade­van sneha.ma­hade­van@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

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.”

PHOTO:YOGEN SHAH

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