Trending trans-Atlantic is apni PC, Priyanka Chopra. She is ready to rock show world in Baywatch as the bad girl. And she’s doing Quantico’s Season 2, although Season 1 was not the success it was expected to be.
So wait. Are congratulations are in order? What about her career back home? She has announced she won’t do any films in Hindi until mid-2017. What was the last memorable movie she did in Mumbai? Bajirao Mastani? Her other big Bollywood release Jai Gangaajal was a disaster.
And she’s to blame for that, partly at least. Priyanka was busy in Los Angeles when she was needed back home to promote the film. While she was away sipping a midair martini with Dwayne Johnson in the US, the team behind her desi film were left as high and dry as the martini. One could see the director Prakash Jha struggling to maintain a promotional front with himself as the film’s lead, and with the other actors in his film, like the talented but alas, relatively unknown Manav Kaul.
Who wants to see Manav when they can get the sizzling PC to blow kisses at the aam junta? Where was the real hero of the film? Why was Priyanka Chopra not here to promote what was undoubtedly an important film for her career? Earlier she was missing from the promotional events of Bajirao Mastani, her earlier important release. There, though, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone held fort. Priyanka spoke from LA on Skype.
But how long can she keep that going in lieu of her flesh-and-blood presence to promote her films in Hindustan? Jai Gangaajal looked orphaned without its hero’s presence.
Priyanka Chopra would have to make a choice. Hollywood or Bollywood? That’s the question which she must confront. Because a thriving a career in both the continents is not possible. Some years ago, A R Rahman would zip off to LA while producers followed him patiently from continent to continent to record their songs. City to city trying to record their songs with the nomadic genius wherever he was available.
Rahman later admitted to me that his travelling plans put off a lot of producers in Bollywood. Is he still working in India or has he migrated to Hollywood? This was the question that was asked.
This won’t work with Priyanka. For Rahman the vocation of composing music is an isolated one. He carries his tunes in his soul. Priyanka’s vocation is a team effort. The crew for her shooting cannot follow her from Mumbai to LA to get her attention. Bollywood producers would want her to be here in India to shoot and then promote her films.
A filmmaker who has worked with her in the recent past says, “Priyanka has zipped off to LA once too often recently during the shooting and marketing of her films. It’s not like Irrfan or Anil who complete a project abroad at one go and then return home to their projects. Priyanka is constantly required in LA for her various projects. This will prove problematic in the coming months. She will have to make a choice.”
So while Priyanka is happy playing the bad girl in Baywatch-and we are happy for her-she must know she cannot straddle two continents.