The Sun (Malaysia)

Priyanka’s major triumph

> The Bollywood actress hopes her leading role in hit US television series Quantico will help pave the way for other Indian actors in Hollywood


BOLLYWOOD star Priyanka Chopra ( below) hopes her leading role in the hit US television show, Quantico ( above and right), will help pave the way for other Indian actors to make it big in America.

The former Miss World is blazing a trail as the first Indian lead in an American TV series, playing FBI agent-turned-suspected terrorist Alex Parrish in the ABC thriller.

“I can only hope that it opens the right doors,” the 33-year-old told AFP in an email interview between filming in India for her Bollywood movies and in Canada for Quantico.

“I truly believe that we have a huge pool of talent in India, which spans actors, directors, technician­s and the like, and there is a huge window of opportunit­y for them to explore outside India.”

Priyanka has received glowing reviews for her turn as Parrish, who is accused in the drama of mastermind­ing the biggest terror attack on American soil since Sept 11, 2001.

The series jumps between present day, when she is on the run from the law and trying to prove her innocence, and her time as a trainee agent at the FBI’s academy at Quantico in Virginia.

The series starts off by following a group of young FBI recruits, with each having a specific reason for joining. Flashbacks detail their previous lives, while the recruits battle their way through training at the academy. However, the series reveals in a flashforwa­rd twist that one of the recruits (Parrish), upon graduating from the academy, is suspected of the terror attack on New York City Grand Central Station.

She is arrested but manages to escape with the aid of her FBI colleagues. She then sets out to find the person who has framed her.

The plot leaves viewers trying to guess who plotted the attack – Parrish or one of her former colleagues at Quantico.

While Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor ( 24), Rahul Khanna ( The Americans) and Nimrat Kaur ( Homeland) have all featured in American shows, Priyanka is the first actor from India to headline an original series.

Her face is plastered across billboards in major US cities and Priyanka, who was crowned Miss World in 2000, said she felt the pressure.

“I was nervous ... period! Firstly, I am trying something new, I was attempting it in a whole new geography, I was doing it in a different language from what the audience is used to for my on-screen persona,” she explained.

The star of Bollywood hits such as Dil Dhadakne Do (Let The Heart Beat) and biopic Mary Kom added that she felt it was important that her Indian-American character was ethnically ambiguous.

“There is a lot of diversity in the characters on Quantico but it’s not a cliched representa­tion,” she said.

“It is, however, more a mirror to society in the US – a multi-cultural mix of people from all over the world, connected to their ethnicity in some way but who primarily consider themselves citizens of the United States of America.” – AFP

Quantico airs Mondays at 10pm, within 12 hours of the US telecast on AXN (Astro channel 701 and Astro B.yond channel 721).

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