“Around 10 per cent of Indian population speaks in English, that is around 1.3 million people. When you come to India, you will find most of the people speaking to you in English.”
That’s Priyanka Chopra for you. This was her reply to American presenter Chelsea Handler when asked whether she knew English as a 12-year-old during her first visit to the United States.
She will rub shoulders with the likes of Dwayne Johnson, play a gun-toting FBI agent Alex Parrish in Quantico and be a regular guest in several American talk shows. But the firangs beware, voicing your age-old stereotype about Indians will land you in a soup.
Here are the reasons why Priyanka has busted many myths about Indian actors in particular and Indians in general, during her stint in the US.
Taking America by storm: Who would have imagined that an Indian actor will have a role in the Hollywood adaptation of Baywatch, a renowned action drama series based on Los Angeles County Lifeguards. The former Miss World will rub shoulders with Johnson and High School Musical fame actor Zac Efron. Besides this, she has also donned the role of a recording artiste with the Universal Music Group.
We are global too: Agree or not, we Indians like to wear our Indianness on our sleeves. And it’s not a bad thing. Who better than Bollywood actors who are often seen donning sarees at various functions. Just look at her and you will get plenty of fashion goals. When she got on the Oscars stage to present the award for best film editing, her Zuhair Murad white gown, not only made her look stunning but showed how seamlessly the Desi girl can blend with Hollywood.
Darling of the American TV: Few years ago, an Indian celebrity like Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan on an American TV show would make headlines and dominate screentimes on news channels in India. But with Priyanka out there, seeing a familiar face on all the popular American talks shows night after night has become a regular affair. And dude, the way she slays her appearances is simply commendable. She has till now appeared on shows with Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Falon, and Ellen DeGenres. Be it downing a taquila shot or eating tandoori chicken, she is a great show-woman.
Skin colour not an issue: As a teenager Priyanka was a victim of racist abuse. She was called a “blackie”. Putting all that aside she has now conquered Hollywood. Unlike most actors who have had Hollywood outings, Priyanka is playing mainstream roles not confining herself to playing an Indian a person of Indian origin. An FBI agent in Quantico or playing the villain in Baywatch is no mean feat.
— Quantico ABC (@QuanticoTV) October 19, 2016
As much as you criticise her accent, she had definitely uppped the game on that front. Her accent has improved considerably over a period of time. The initial fakeness has given way to a sweet natural accent making it clear that she is there to stay in Hollywood. Who knows, we might see her play a Bond Girl in future.