Priyanka Chopra : The female 'Don' of Bollywood!
Popularly referred to by her fans as Piggy Chops, she reigns in the hearts of millions of movie-goers! And well-deservedly so! Within a brief span of her career, she has proved her versatility not only in terms of the characters she portrayed on onscreen, but by also venturing into areas beyond celluloid! She first set the fashion-world on fire, as she won the much-coveted pageants of Femina Miss India World and Miss World titles of 2000. Who knew back then, that this was just the beginning of a journey, and that she was soon on her way to oodles of fame, glory and stardom! Soon, Bollywood beckoned. And today, she is not only one of the highest-paid actresses of recent times but also one of the most popular celebrities of the country!
Born in Jamshedpur, to parents who were physicians in the Indian army, she originally had aspired to pursue a career in engineering or psychiatry, but then, Destiny had other (and arguably, better) plans for her. Having won the prestigious beauty contests, film offers came pouring in, & she chose to take the plunge. She debuted in the Tamil film Thamizhan (2002) opposite Vijay, soon to be followed The Hero, her first Hindi movie. Her next release, Andaaz, was a box-office hit, and also fetched her awards and accolades. Though she had a spate of unsuccessful films in the year of 2004, she soon resurfaced with a commercially “hit” movie Mujhse Shaadi Karogi later in that year. Subsequently, people actually started taking notice of her when she shone in the role of a seductress in Aitraaz (2004), a thriller. Being cast in a negative role in such an early phase of her career proved to be a blessing in disguise for Miss Chopra, and she even brought home a Filmfare Award for it!
Highs and lows kept altercating in her life; and in 2005, she again had a setback in the form of a few films that did not do well. Amongst these movies, there were some where she was merely reduced to the role of a glam-doll; or even as a female lead, had very little to contribute. However, 2006 instilled a new lease of her life to her career, with Krrish, which was a major box-office success. She also bid adieu to the year with Don, which not only did huge business, but earned rave reviews for Priyanka’s performance. This again, was followed by a “dry spell” , what with a number of her movies failing miserably. In the latter half of 2008, however, the major turning point came to her, in the form of Fashion, where she essayed the role of a supermodel, and did live up to the confidence the team had in her, with aplomb. It won her the National Award, besides many other such laurels that were heaped upon her. While in Dostana, she chiefly grabbed eyeballs with her daring fashion statement, she soon followed it up with a sincere, performance-oriented role in Kaminey. Though her next, What’s Your Rashee received lukewarm response at the box-office, she came across strikingly, getting into the skin of 12 distinctly different characters!
The next milestone in her career was 7 Khoon Maaf, where she exquisitely portrayed a very complex character, that received critical appraisal. Don 2 almost established herself as the first proper female action hero in Bollywood, as she pulled off some brilliant stunts and action sequences, for which she was duly commended. She managed to hold her own ground even in a male-dominated action drama Agneepath, which was proof itself that she had come to acquire a star-status of her own. However, perhaps her best performance till date is Barfii, which came in 2012, and had Priyanka playing the role of an autistic woman who falls in love with a deaf, mute man. It wasn't just an extremely brave move on the part of Chopra to accept such an unconventionally challenging role, but she did complete complete justice to it, which left critics and audiences awestruck. She stole the show, not in her super-glamorous avatar, but as a girl with a psycho-physical disability; and proved her mettle as an “actress” above all!
What’s more, she is also blessed with a flair for music, which propelled her into the music industry, while she is at the peak of her movie-career. Apart from having lent her voice to a few songs in a couple of her movies, in July 2012, she became the first Bollywood star to be signed by Creative Artists Agency, based in Los Angeles. Her first single, “In My City”, received mixed critical reviews, but was commercially successful in India, having sold more than 130,000 copies in its first week! She also added to her kitty a few awards on account of her stint in the musical arena. She has been in news for her opinion column in the Hindustan Times, where she voiced her thoughts on diverse issues; as well as for her philanthropic associations. She has always been very vocal about women’s issues, anti-addiction campaigns and other charitable initiatives.
Here’s an actress who’s much more than being a plastic beauty; she has a mind of her own and with her sheer grit and individuality, she has managed to gain a strong foothold in the industry. A doting daughter and sister, she is indeed a complete woman who everyone should look up to! Way to go, Priyanka!