Eastern Eye (UK)

Priyanka’s escape to Hollywood


ACTRESS Priyanka Chopra Jonas revealed she moved to Hollywood as she needed a break from the “exhausting politics” of the Indian film industry.

Priyanka also said Indian filmmakers were “not casting” her and that she was in the zone of being a “serious actor”.

“I had beef with people,” Priyanka said on the comedy podcast Armchair Expert with Hollywood actors Dax Shepard and Monica Padman.

“I was being pushed into a corner in the (Hindi film) industry. I had people not casting me for reasons, I had beef with people, I am not good at playing that game so I kind of was tired of the politics and I said I needed a break.”

The actress recalled an incident while shooting for Vishal Bhardwaj’s 2011 movie 7 Khoon Maaf.

Priyanka said, “I spoke to this woman. I’d recorded a demo because I just love music. She goes ‘I love this demo. Would you be open to music?’ I was like ‘What does that even mean?’ I’ve never been in the studio for real. She flew down... I was like ‘I’ll be a rockstar if I think I can.

The 40-year-old, now based in Los Angeles, said she was signed by American record label Interscope Records where its founder Jimmy Iovine was her talent scout.

Priyanka started her career in Los Angeles as a singer in 2012 and gained prominence through music videos In My City and Exotic.

“This music thing gave me an opportunit­y to go into another part of the world, not crave for the movies I didn’t want to get, but I would require to schmooze certain clubs and cliques of people.

“It would require grovelling and I had worked a long time by then that I didn’t feel like I wanted to do it,” she added.

“So when this music thing came I was like ‘F*** it, I’m going to America’ and Interscope was amazing, they threw the building at me. I worked with Pitbull, Will.I.Am, Pharrell, Mathew Koma, and many incredible artistes. I had dinner with Bruce Springstee­n and his wife, I met Jay-Z and Beyonce,” she recalled.

Priyanka later went on to become the first south Asian actress to headline an American network drama series in her Hollywood debut through ABC’s thriller drama series Quantico in 2015.

She said she was “living the dream” through the music, but she soon realised she was much better at acting, her “day job”.

“I got completely caught up in this music thing and thought ‘I am a pop star now, forget about this movie thing’, quickly to realise I was much better at my day job,” the actress added.

She said Iovine of Interscope Records asked her to look for representa­tion in acting since had been living in Los Angeles for over two years at the time.

“I was having trouble back home anyway with being cast in the kind of movies I didn’t want to be cast in. And, Jimmy helped me get in with CAA (Creative Artists Agency), they signed me on and it started.”

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