One actor who hit headlines in 2004, for the right and wrong reasons, is Priyanka Chopra. First, the right reasons. Priyanka made people sit up and notice her talent in AITRAAZ. Accepting a negative role so early in her career was one big challenge, but the ex Miss World emerged trumps in the role and won more taalis than the actual heroine of the film. Also, she bagged two plum assignments before the year 2004 drew to a close - the Subhash Ghai-produced, Satish Kaushik-directed film and Rakesh Roshan's sequel to KOI... MIL GAYA. Plus, she was a part of the world tour with SRK. It can't get bigger than that! But Priyanka faced a major controversy in 2004 as well. Her alleged affair with Akshay Kumar hit headlines. Akshay and Priyanka have been an integral part of ANDAAZ, MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI and AITRAAZ and the on-screen chemistry was electrifying. Reportedly, Akshay and Priyanka have decided not to work with each other in the future. "Well, I have no issues absolutely. We look good on screen and have even delivered three hits together. So if a producer offers me a film with Akshay, I wouldn't refuse it," Priyanka informs me. The actress is munching sandwiches at home as we discuss the controversy that created a big ballyhoo. "I don't react to rumours," she smiles, "My family knows what the truth is and that's all that matters." And the truth is? "Akshay and I are friends. There's nothing more to it. All I am interested in is my work," she states. However, Priyanka is ecstatic that she has some interesting films lined up for release. "There's so much to look forward to in 2005. There's WAQT [with Big B, Akshay], BARSAAT [Bobby, Bipasha], YAKEEN [Arjun Rampal] and KARM [John Abraham]. All interesting projects," she states. Then there's the most important assignment in her kitty - the much talked-about project with Hrithik, to be directed by Rakesh Roshan. It's said that she bagged the project because she's friends with Hrithik's sister Sunaina. "That's completely untrue," she clarifies, "Sunaina and I are friends. But Rakesh-ji isn't the type to cast an actor just because she happens to be his daughter's friend. He must've felt that the role suits me, or else he wouldn't have cast me." Point noted!
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