WILL Priyanka’s En­gage­ment OPEN HOL­LY­WOOD DOORS

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY -

Love sure brings in lady luck… more so if you are Priyanka ChoPra who has got en­gaged to Hol­ly­wood’s boy won­der Nick Jonas. Su­mita Chakraborty finds out if this love con­nec­tion will help PeeCee build bridges in Hol­ly­wood.

She’s bold, su­per sexy and the mis­tress of her own des­tiny. No won­der, she’s forged her way ahead al­beit in stormy wa­ters into the glitzy world of Hol­ly­wood. Yes, we are talk­ing about the in­domitable Priyanka Chopra who has man­aged to do what no other In­dian ac­tor could do in Hol­ly­wood till date… play lead roles op­po­site top stars in big ban­ner projects with­out play­ing the in­fa­mous ‘In­dian’ card. Of course, PeeCee, In­dia’s ‘most glam­orous’ im­port to Hol­ly­wood, has had her share of fail­ures too – three sea­sons of shaky rat­ings of Quan­tico, and three films Bay­watch, A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t it Ro­man­tic (still not re­leased). But this gor­geous gal re­fused to find ‘a fault in the stars’. She hired a great PR team al­beit an ex­pen­sive one and, used up the ’empty’ time to be seen at the right place at the right time.

In The Spot­light

From host­ing a seg­ment at the Os­cars, to win­ing ‘n’ din­ing at prom­i­nent Hol­ly­wood par­ties, to be­ing per­son­ally in­vited for ‘BFF’ Meghan Merkel’s high pro­file royal wed­ding to Prince Harry where PeeCee in a su­per sexy tight laven­der dress was seen cosy­ing up to Hol­ly­wood’s high­est paid ac­tor Ge­orge Clooney that too un­der the watch­ful eyes of his wife Amal. Ah yes, she grabbed eye­balls, and how!

Nick Of Time

But it was her tryst of love with the 25-year-old boy won­der Nick Jonas that fur­ther brought her back into the spot­light. Hol­ly­wood’s poster boy singer Nick, if you re­call, has dated some of the most beau­ti­ful and

PeeCee, In­dia’s most glam­orous im­port to Hol­ly­wood has had her share of fail­ures too.

No In­dian ac­tor till date has made much of a mark in the western world. The In­dian card was a cross most of them had to bear.

suc­cess­ful Hol­ly­wood ac­tresses’ in­clud­ing Mi­ley Cyrus, Se­lena Gomez and Kate Hud­son ear­lier. So his ro­man­tic con­nec­tion with Ms Chopra has paid rich div­i­dends in terms of PeeCee’s vis­i­bil­ity. And just when the so-called love con­nec­tion with Nick who was ear­lier dubbed as a se­rial dater was scoffed as a ‘pass­ing fancy’, PeeCee served a dou­ble whammy by not only get­ting en­gaged in Hol­ly­wood on her 36th birth­day. In fact, she was spot­ted flash­ing a sparkler as huge as a boul­der on her ring fin­ger – sup­pos­edly, a be­sot­ted Nick shut down Tiffany’s to buy her this huge di­a­mond. Bol­ly­wood’s sexy Bareilly gal also whisked Nick Jonas and his fam­ily home to have a tra­di­tional roka. This time ‘round, the fat was in the fire… Nick and she were plas­tered on the front pages of all the global dailies and glossies. Priyanka Chopra couldn’t have found a bet­ter

vis­i­bil­ity in Hol­ly­wood than this. Every­body who was the ‘who’s who’ of Hol­ly­wood - from stu­dio mag­nates to top di­rec­tors and pro­duc­ers - got to know of this girl from a lit­tle known place called Bareilly in In­dia.

Flashback Mum­bai

Ear­lier if you re­call, the am­bi­tious PeeCee was hell-bent on go­ing west­ward ahoy. She packed her bags ‘n’ bag­gage one fine sum­mer – that too when she was on top of her game in Bol­ly­wood - and headed to the land of milk and honey, Amer­ica – she had been signed to play the lead in a TV se­ries called Quan­tico on prime time. Three sea­sons of play­ing the lead, PeeCee and her per­fect Amer­i­can twang man­aged to grab eye­balls with the Hol­ly­wood sul­tans. How­ever, her stel­lar stint in Quan­tico didn’t seem to have got her where she wanted to be … right on top of the stars. More so as ev­ery year thou­sands and thou­sands of gor­geous men and women try to make their mark in Hol­ly­wood only to no avail. The com­pe­ti­tion is fiercely cut-throat and it is in­deed a jun­gle where only the fittest sur­vive. But that didn’t re­ally make this de­ter­mined Miss World turn tail and rush back home. She went on to sign on the iconic Bay­watch fran­chisee as a vil­lain op­po­site Dwayne ‘The Rock’ John­son.

The Fi­nal Fron­tier

Yes Hol­ly­wood has been the fi­nal fron­tier of many ta­lented In­dian

Priyanka packed her bags ‘n’ bag­gage one fine sum­mer when she was on top of her game in Bol­ly­wood and headed to the land of milk and honey, Amer­ica.

ac­tors – from Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Kabir Bedi, Per­sis Kham­bata, Parveen Babi, Aish­warya Rai Bachchan, Sha­bana Azmi to the new crop… but no­body till date made much of a mark leave alone make any kind of im­pact in the western world. All the other ac­tors played im­por­tant cameos in their Hol­ly­wood films but never the lead. And all of them ended up mostly play­ing In­di­ans or Asians – in fact, the In­dian card was a cross most of them had to bear. Yes, Deepika Padukone’s xXx: Re­turn Of Xan­der Cage op­po­site the ac­ro­batic Vin Diesel had her in a prom­i­nent lead role (again, play­ing Ser­ena, a girl of In­dian ori­gin) and it was pro­moted with a lot of fan­fare across the world. How­ever it failed to make the Box of­fice col­lec­tions sing at the top of its voice. Agreed, Priyanka’s Bay­watch too was a colos­sal flop and IMDb dubbed it as one of the ‘worst’ films of the year. But it didn’t de­ter Priyanka who went on to sign A Kid Like Jake which flopped and Isn’t it Ro­man­tic (still not re­leased). Was her Hol­ly­wood ca­reer in dol­drums?

Not ac­cord­ing to PeeCee!

Well, the ‘never say die’ PeeCee re­fused to give up. Like a phoenix, she re­vived her­self from the ashes of fail­ure and moved on. Her pro­fes­sional life seemed to be in dire straits in Hol­ly­wood but with boyfriend Nick there at her side at the ‘nick of time’, PeeCee was ready to swim the stormy oceans once again. But her per­sonal life sure did help her pro­fes­sional one too.

Per­sonal Tri­umph

This isn’t the first time that the ‘per­fect ‘tro­phy’ match’ helped an ac­tor pro­fes­sion­ally.

If she does not want to work with Sal­man Khan, it’s okay; she’s work­ing with a big hero in Hol­ly­wood.” —Sal­man Khan

The gor­geous Jen­nifer Anis­ton played a dizzy blonde Rachel in the iconic TV se­ries Friends that was aired in the US in 1994. The TV se­ries be­came a huge hit and ev­ery mem­ber of Friends went on to be­come a cult fig­ure. Jen­nifer Anis­ton too was a huge hit with the teeny­bop­pers and her sense of style be­came a huge rage. But still, TV was still con­sid­ered as ‘lit­tle brother’ in com­par­i­son to films. But in waltzed the su­per hand­some Hol­ly­wood hero Brad Pitt into Jen­nifer Anis­ton’s life and things be­came very dif­fer­ent. She sud­denly be­came the cyno­sure of all eyes and Hol­ly­wood got lured by her charm, and a star was born. She went on to live in with Brad and then sub­se­quently get mar­ried to him. The mar­riage, how­ever, ended when one Ms Jolie prowled into Brad’s life but by then, Jen­nifer’s ca­reer in Hol­ly­wood was ce­mented in gold. She went on to be­come one of the top most paid ac­tresses in Hol­ly­wood and in­ci­den­tally, is still in the top league.

PeeCee’s Tri­umph

Like­wise, Priyanka’s en­gage­ment to Hol­ly­wood’s fave singer-ac­tor Nick cat­a­pulted her overnight into the big league. In the mean­time, PeeCee who was all along strad­dling be­tween Bol­ly­wood and Hol­ly­wood re­al­ized that she had hit a gold mine in Hol­ly­wood. She had

In waltzed the su­per hand­some Hol­ly­wood hero Brad Pitt into Jen­nifer Anis­ton’s life, she then be­came the cyno­sure of all eyes in Hol­ly­wood.

ear­lier signed Bharat with the Sul­tan of Bol­ly­wood, Sal­man Khan but had wrig­gled out of her com­mit­ment to work in it cit­ing her en­gage­ment with Nick.

Crowded Bharat

A tad un­pro­fes­sional but per­haps it was for the best as ev­ery­one knows that in Sal­man Khan’s films, hero­ines are more or less con­sid­ered as ‘win­dow dress­ings’ as in the face of bhai­jaan’s mega role, they have hardly any­thing to do than just look good. Also the fact re­mained that after PeeCee signed Sal­man’s film, Tabu, Disha Patani and Nora Fatehi too were pen­ciled in. And at this junc­ture, Priyanka re­al­ized that she was worth much more than just be­ing part of a crowded multi-star­rer. So just 10 days be­fore shoot­ing, she in­formed the pro­duc­ers and Sal­man that she was opt­ing out be­cause of “her en­gage­ment”.

Pratt Tales

But hardly a few days after her de­ci­sion to walk out of Sal­man’s Bharat, there was an an­nounce­ment that jolted par­tic­u­larly the Bharat mak­ers and it was that Priyanka had signed a film as the main lead op­po­site Hol­ly­wood’s mega star, the Cow­boy Ninja Vik­ing su­per­star Chris Pratt. Of course, it’s a dif­fer­ent story that sup­pos­edly, the re­lease date of this film is also a lit­tle shaky as the pro­duc­ers have not pen­ciled in any proper re­lease or shoot­ing date due to lo­gis­tic rea­sons. How­ever, Chris Pratt has re­port­edly said that he “is very happy to work with Priyanka”. Of course, hell hath no fury that the Sul­tan crossed… And a rather sar­cas­tic Sal­man com­mented when asked about Priyanka: “I am re­ally happy for her. Had we known ear­lier that she has signed a big film in Hol­ly­wood, we would have never stopped her. My shoot­ing had be­gun. We got to know about her de­ci­sion of leav­ing the film at the end mo­ment - just 10 days be­fore her sched­ule. Priyanka had come home and I told her, ‘It’s okay if you don’t want to do it’. At that time, we were given some other rea­son. What­ever may be the rea­son - be it mar­riage or pic­ture or her not be­ing will­ing to work in In­dia or with me, it’s her rea­son and we are re­ally sup­port­ive about her do­ing good work. If she does not want to work with Sal­man Khan, it’s okay; she’s work­ing with a big hero in Hol­ly­wood.”

Ring In Suc­cess

But what­ever the fact re­mains, it is def­i­nite that after Priyanka’s en­gage­ment to Nick, many doors in Hol­ly­wood are slowly open­ing up for her. In fact, more and more Hol­ly­wood big­gies are warm­ing

It was Priyanka’s tryst of love with the 25year old boy won­der Nick Jonas that fur­ther brought her back into the spot­light.

up to the idea of hav­ing PeeCee as the lead hero­ine in their films. The ad­van­tages Ms Piggy Chops has are many – she looks good, per­forms well, speaks like an Amer­i­can and has the right con­tacts.

Frail Bol­ly­wood Con­nect

Al­though Priyanka has sup­pos­edly signed two Hindi films - The Sky Is Pink with Shonali Bose of the Mar­garita With A Straw fame and Kr­rish 4 op­po­site heart­throb Hrithik Roshan, PeeCee has made it clear that she would want to be the only hero­ine in the film and would shoot only after all her de­mands are met. But the fact re­mains that PeeCee’s eyes are firmly fo­cused on Hol­ly­wood.She has re­al­ized her po­ten­tial and is all set to cash in on it. Do re­mem­ber in Bol­ly­wood, by the time a hero­ine hits 35, she is rel­e­gated to do­ing ‘mother’ roles while in Hol­ly­wood, age doesn’t mat­ter nor does be­ing mar­ried or sin­gle.

Suc­cess Ahead

So has Peecee’s ca­reer got the kiss of ‘Nick’ in Hol­ly­wood? Oh yeah! And the smart lady knows what she wants and how to get it… All she needs is the right break with the right ban­ner and di­rec­tor in Hol­ly­wood, and the sky is the limit. …Hur­ray for In­dia’s big­gest ‘star’ in Hol­ly­wood, Priyanka Chopra. Go ahead take a bow, PeeCee, you’ve earned it!

xXx: Re­turn of Xan­der Cage. Deepika Padukone in Amitabh Bachchan in The Great Gatsby

Aish­warya Rai Bachchan in The Mis­tress of Spices

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