After starring as the lead on the US TV Quantico in 2015, Priyanka Chopra‘s Hollywood career has come a long way. This year, the actor headlined both a rom-com and a web series as a lead actor. In both projects, she wasn’t typecast as an Indian, but was rather chosen for what she could bring to the part. In an interview, Priyanka spoke about how she has been actively seeking out roles that don’t have her as a sidekick or stereotype her because of her background. (Also read: Citadel wants us to believe it is important, but suffers from the worst kind of cultural amnesia)
The actor also named other artists in Hollywood like Simone Ashley, Mindy Kaling, even Deepika Padukone, that have changed the way South Asians are perceived on screen. She wanted them all to become the ‘new normal’ and hopefully change things for the next generation of actors that come after her.
The actor told Filmfare, “In the last five years, there has been a big demand from actors who say, “I don’t want to be a sidekick anymore.” I know I did. I didn’t want to be one of the checks in the box that says we’ve made our cast diverse—that we have an Indian, an Asian, and so on. I didn’t want to have that. And I know a lot of my colleagues don’t want to do that.”
She added, “So I’ve taken many meetings where I’ve clearly told producers, “Don’t put me in stereotypical parts.” I don’t want to do it. I’m going to work hard for you because I know my damn job. I’ll come onto the set and do 10 percent more than what you asked for, or maybe even 20 percent. I will be better than anyone you’ve cast because I’m not afraid of working hard. It requires selling yourself.”
Priyanka’s Prime Video web series, Citadel, was recently renewed for a second season. The first season, which premiered on April 28, ended on May 26. Production for the next season is moving to California with filmmaker Joe Russo directing all episodes for the next one. Co-stars Richard Madden, Stanley Tucci and Lesley Manville will also return for the second season.
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