Hollywood

Priyanka Chopra on Hollywood and growing up abroad: I was rejected, was called ‘curry’

Priyanka Chopra is on the eve of making her Hollywood movie debut with Baywatch, in which she’ll play the villain opposite Dwayne Johnson. In an interview with Glamour

Priyanka Chopra arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala.(REUTERS)

Days before making her movie debut in Hollywood, Priyanka Chopra opens up about how the industry treats outsiders and the difficulties of being accepted in a new country.

In the latest issue of Glamour Magazine (she also features on the cover), Priyanka compares the movie industry to her experiences in high school.

“It’s a scary place,” she says. “You will be rejected. I was rejected many times. I cried. I was told that female actors are replaceable in films because they just stand behind a guy anyway.”

“I’m still used to being paid — like most actresses around the world — a lot less than the boys,” she continues. “We’re told we’re too provocative or that being sexy is our strength, which it can be, and it is, but that’s not the only thing we have.”

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“So there are so many things that you will be told,” she adds. “It’ll be scary. There will be strife. But women have incredible endurance and incredible strength. Your ability to deal with it is within you.”

Priyanka moved to the US when she was 12 and had to return after she was bullied in school.

There was this girl who was a major bully. I think she didn’t like me because her boyfriend liked me, or some high school dynamic,” she says. “She made my life hell. She used to call me names and would push me against the locker.”

“That girl in school used to call me ‘curry,’ ” she adds. “You’re scared of those things. We’re afraid of letting people see the glory of who we are.”

Speaking about her upcoming movie Baywatch, which also stars industry heavyweights Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, Priyanka says, “I take over the beach. I open up a club. I’m this big shot billionaire chick who plays hardball in a man’s world. And what I love about Victoria (Leeds, her character) is that she’s not baselessly evil. She thinks she’s just driven. She had the business acumen, but her family business went to her brother, because he was a boy. So she has a point to prove. There’s this amazing line in the (script): Zac says, ‘You’re such a bitch!’ And I’m like, ‘If I were a man, you’d call me driven.’ ”

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Baywatch opens June 2 in India.

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