WILL Priyanka’s Engagement OPEN HOLLYWOOD DOORS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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