2009 was an eventful year for Priyanka Chopra. She played as many as 12 roles in What’s Your Raashee? but the film failed to take off. On the other hand, she had less than 12 scenes in Kaminey and not just did the film turn out to be a success but in the process also fetched Priyanka quite some accolades and appreciation. In the uncertain world of Bollywood, Priyanka isn’t willing to differentiate between big and small. This is the reason why after working in relatively bigger budget films like Dostana and Fashion and sharing screen space with top stars, she doesn’t mind being the leading lady of Uday Chopra who is making a comeback of sorts with Pyaar Impossible.
In a conversation with Joginder Tuteja, Priyanka shares her point of view on how all actors are small if the bigger picture of a film as a whole is taken into account, how she copes with failure and why in spite of being in the industry for more than half a decade; she continues to be a director’s actor.
There aren’t many big names involved in Pyaar Impossible except for the fact that the film marks your entry into Yash Raj Films. Really, what made you sign the film?
Why are you forgetting the most integral part about filmmaking – the script? You seem to be conveniently ignoring the fact that a film is not made of just stars and banners. It requires a definite story and this is where Pyaar Impossible wins. I really like the film’s basic plot about a nerdy guy falling in love with a glam girl. Believe me when I say that I after Dostana, I had most fun working in Pyaar Impossible.
With Uday and director Jugal Hansraj around, you must have felt like the senior most in Pyaar Impossible, right? Seems like you had quite some responsibility on your shoulders.
Well, if you look at it this way then perhaps Manish Malhotra (the costume designer of the film) was the senior most of the lot (laughs). See, one should not be generalising things this way that who was the senior most and who was the junior of the lot. It’s a learning process and it all happens on the job.
Aah, now you are being diplomatic…
Arrey nahi. See when I started doing films, I had no idea what had to be done in front of the camera. I was just 19 and a blank piece of paper. I wasn’t formally trained on acting and had no Godfather to help me out. This is why I said that I had to do it all on the job. Over the years I had the fortune to work with people who helped me grow as an actor. Till date I consider myself as a director’s actor.
Even after 30 odd films?
Pretty much so. I am not confident to do it all by myself. I need a director to help me get the overall effect bang on. Otherwise if came with the capability of calling the shots, toh kya main khud director nahi ban jaati!
As someone who hands herself over to the director, don’t you feel hurt when even a brilliant act of yours goes relatively unnoticed, case in point being What’s Your Raashee?
See, an actor is a very small part of a film. As an actor I can’t do much if a film of mine doesn’t work. But then if people come out of a theatre and say that they hated my performance then I would be truly shattered. I would want to go back and check that what really went wrong. I got some great reviews for What’s Your Raashee? and that was soothing to an extent.
If people come out of a theatre and say that they hated my performance then I would be truly shattered
You must have still felt sad. After all a lot of hard work had seemingly gone in getting into the skin of the character, in this case as many as 12 of them!
Sad? That’s an understatement. I was heartbroken. I really wept a lot when the film didn’t work.
After Pyaar Impossible, you would be seen in Siddharth Anand directed Anjaana Anjaani (with Ranbir Kapoor) followed by Vishal Bhardwaj’s next (yet untitled) directorial outing. In last two years, you have had eight of your films releasing. Don’t you ever feel like cutting down on work and taking a deep breath?
Really, I enjoy those days the most when I am shooting for films and commercials or doing any other work which is worthwhile and keeps me busy. Mujhe woh craving hoti hi nahi ki chalo, mein ek week thoda rest kar loon ya holiday par chali jaaon. I don’t consider work as a burden at all.
Meanwhile you were also not keeping too well all through 2009 as well. Really Priyanka, what’s happening to your health? Isn’t it too much of work.
It wasn’t that bad actually. There was this stomach infection a few weeks back but that’s absolutely fine now. Otherwise I kept myself really busy all through the year and if you ask me, this is the way I like things to be. It gives me tremendous pleasure and I get my highest high on those days when I crash on bed dead tired.