Celebrity

Priyanka Chopra reveals her idea of a perfect date

Plus, her favourite moment while filming Netflix's new Isn't It Romantic

We caught up with India's biggest crossover star, Priyanka Chopra, the day her new film, Isn't It Romantic, released in India. The movie, starring Rebel Wilson as the protagonist, along with Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine and Priyanka (who plays a yoga ambassador and swimsuit model), is a fun take on romantic comedies. She says, "I don't think it was as much my character as it was the movie that appealed to me." Priyanka continues, "I'm a fan of romantic comedies but I'm also a modern intelligent girl who understands that there are so many cliches and tropes that we end up loving in these rom coms. Todd's [Strauss-Schulson; director] script called all of that out, but you still end up watching it. And that was so clever." 

Moreover, Priyanka loved the fact that Rebel was producing the movie and playing the leading lady for the first time, after being an actor for over 15 years. "I think it's important for us to champion each other. Because if we don't, no one else will," she states. 

In Priyanka's own words, her character Isabella is an entitled, rich brat, who thinks her job is to be a role model, instead of a swimsuit model. "She's always got whatever she wanted, so when somebody else tries to take that from her, she can't stand it. I just thought it was really funny to be part of scenes like that. And bring Bollywood to Hollywood and do musical numbers in a movie." Isn't It Romantic sees two dance numbers — a karaoke song in the movie, and one at the end as the credits roll.

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Filming these were also Priyanka's favourite bits. For the second song, the production crew shut down a street opposite Grand Central Terminal in New York. "We literally danced on the road, like how we've done in Bollywood movies for years. It was fun to see Rebel, Adam, Liam and me do that with like, 40 dancers behind us," she says. Did Priyanka tell them she is a pro at that anyway? "They told me," she laughs. "They said, 'You literally do this for a living. We have to rehearse.' They were like, don't get Priyanka for this rehearsal."

 

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Priyanka, who's been married to Nick Jonas for three months now, says for her idea of romance is being with the person who makes you happy. "It doesn't matter if you're on top of the Eiffel Tower, or somebody is laying you down on a bed of roses. But if the person you love is giving you attention and is engaging with you, anything can become romantic," she says.

 

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In the past, Priyanka has spoken about the importance of representation in the media and said that, growing up, she didn't see anyone on screen who looked like her. With Priyanka making a mark in Bollywood, and now in Hollywood, how will things be different for the young girls watching her? "I don't know how much of a contribution I will make in that department but I definitely hope to. I don't remember the last time the epitome or standard of beauty in a movie was a brown woman. It's always like, a blonde, blue-eyed girl. In Isn't It Romantic, it's the Indian woman," she says. "I really try to pick parts which break the stereotypes for Indian talent. As artists, our ethnicities should be assets to us rather than being the definition of what we can play." 

Currently, Priyanka is shooting the last leg of The Sky is Pink, directed by Shonali Bose, and starring Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim. The movie revolves around a set of parents who lose their child to an incurable disease, and a mother's fight to make sure her daughter survives and lives the best life as long as she can. 

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"It's a very difficult movie. Emotionally, it took me to places where I don't think people should go," she says. She also clarifies that the movie is not dark and depressing — it's a lighter take on how death is such an important part of all our lives and how afraid we are of it. And how, when someone dies, we should celebrate their life, instead of mourning them. "Playing a character that ages from 22 to about 55 is something I'm excited about," she says. 

Watch Isn't It Romantic on Netflix here.