Bharat Express

Priyanka On Promoting South Asian Talent In Hollywood: Want To Help Because I Didn’t Have It

“I feel like it is my responsibility now to be able to help people who want help from me because I didn’t have it…”

Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas says she didn’t have any help when she crossed over to Hollywood, but she wants to become “the shoulders for people to jump off of” when it comes to promoting talent from her home country and South Asia.
From organizing screenings of “RRR”, which won the Best Original Song Academy Award for “Naatu Naatu”, and India’s official entry for the Oscars “Chhello Show” to throwing a pre-Oscars party for the South Asian talent, Priyanka said she wants to showcase the “power” of the artists from India.

“I feel like it is my responsibility now to be able to help people who want help from me because I didn’t have it… It’s always nice when you come into the industry, and somebody says ‘I’ll make a call for you’. I have that now with industry friends that I’ve built relationships with, whether that’s in Bollywood or in Hollywood. It feels good to be able to help people achieve their dreams,” the actor-producer told PTI in an interview.

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The reason behind organizing the pre-Oscars party for the South Asian talent, the 40-year-old said, was to show that “there’s not just one or two of us. We’re 400 of us, we’re a lot of us, and we demand a position of power.”
Priyanka said now, through her production banner Purple Pebble Pictures, she aims to “become the shoulders for people to jump off of.”
“Because I realize the power of the platform that I have and I really want to make sure that I can help South Asian filmmakers get the spotlight,” she added.

The actor moved to the US to pursue a career in the American film industry a decade ago. After releasing her first music single “In My City” in 2012, she went on to star in series “Quantico”, played the main antagonist in “Baywatch” movie, featured in “The Matrix Resurrections” and will soon be seen headlining Prime Video’s spy thriller show “Citadel” as well as romance drama “Love Again”.
When she started living in Los Angeles, the actor said, her industry colleagues from India would come and she felt their aspirations.

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“I’d make the connections. I’d call somebody I know and say, ‘Hey’. Then I realized that I had the ability to do that. Then I wanted to do it in a deliberate fashion. I started making sure that if somebody wants support from me, Indian filmmakers especially or South Asian talent, I will try and find a way to do it.”
Establishing herself in the American film industry, however, was not easy for Priyanka. The actor said apart from creating a space for herself in a new set-up, she also had to figure out a way to approach a “scene without being dramatic”.

“When I first started acting in America, a lot of directors would come up to me and say, ‘You know what Pri… just throw it away’. I didn’t know what ‘throw it away’ meant. I was so confused and I didn’t want to look like an idiot. So I asked one of my co-actors, and they said that that means ‘Don’t say it with any emotion’.
“(But) we as people, our culture is dramatic. I use my hands all the time to talk. Our movies (Bollywood) are about drama. We are taught like that… I went to an acting school in India, for a month. We were taught ‘Nav Rasas’ and ‘Bhav’, showing expression and face. But it was the opposite there,” Priyanka said, adding that after working so long she is now able to switch between both zones.

Source: PTI