Priyanka Chopra: ‘I feel like the word ‘Bollywood’ has been reduced to a Zumba class’

42nd Toronto International Film Festival - 'Mother' - Premiere

Priyanka Chopra covers the latest issue of Paper Magazine and the entire shoot is like this: terrible. Priyanka is a gorgeous woman and you really have to TRY to make her look this bad. Anyway, Priyanka is promoting various things, like her TV show, so of course she’ll continue to give endless interviews. All of her magazine interviews go with the same backstory, and she says similar sh-t every time. But there were some new thoughts in this interview. Some highlights:

Her life was destined to be like this: “I feel like it was destiny. I’m a big believer in destiny. I really feel like there has to be a bigger picture planned for each one of us, because there are sometimes things that happen which you don’t expect at all, and it works out for your best interest. You get in life what you need, not what you want. If you have the ability to recognize those opportunities, life can be pretty all right.”

She’s ambitious: “I’m extremely ambitious and I think it’s a really great quality for girls to have. Somehow, ambition and feminism have turned into bad words, and they’re not.” Chopra defines ambition as “wanting to be the best version of yourself,” and says she’s “learned that over time. [But] of course there are dark moments when you’re just like, ‘I can’t do this,’ and you feel scared. I never say ‘no’ to anything because you never know the new experience that will come your way. Yes, it’s really hard sometimes. As a girl, as someone who didn’t know anyone in the business or the entertainment industry, it was very solitary, my journey. It’s been very long, and that’s been the hard part. It makes you vulnerable.”

Asian diversity in the industry: “It’s still not enough. Aziz Ansari and I were at the Boom Boom Room after the Met Gala [this year]. We were hanging out and looking at everyone, and he said to me, ‘You know Priyanka, I’ve been here so many times. Seven years ago there were only two South Asians, and today, there are seven.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know if that’s a lot, Aziz, that we’ve gone from two to seven in a room of 500.’ I’m laughing about it, but representation needs to be brought up in a big way.”

Americans need to understand India: “One, Bollywood is not a city. I feel like the word ‘Bollywood’ has been reduced to a Zumba class. Two, there’s so much beauty in India’s chaos. It’s not one thing. It’s not even ten things. It’s just a metamorphosis of contradictions, and there’s music to it. When you see the country, your every sense will be assaulted with how much there is in terms of culture and music and people and the contradictions that live within society. We don’t all have arranged marriages, and there’s a lot more food outside of chicken tikka masala. I can go on.”

How she once promoting a skin-whitening cream but never will again: “I was made to feel very self-conscious when I was younger because I’m darker-toned, and that was a huge part of my self-esteem issue when I was growing up. So I did this cream commercial and when I saw it, it made me feel like crap. It reminded me of what I felt like when I was a little girl. I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is what I felt like. Like what I have is not good enough.’ I got out of the contract and never did it again. It took me seeing myself advocating the thing that made my teenage years miserable, because it was normal and everyone did it. It was sold in stores right next to toothpaste. You don’t understand the psychology of what it does to society. When I did it is when I understood it. Creams for glowing skin is different, but as soon as it says ‘whitening,’ it’s like, what?”

[From Paper]

“One, Bollywood is not a city. I feel like the word ‘Bollywood’ has been reduced to a Zumba class.” I love this. It’s not just with India though, let’s be real: Americans tend to view entire countries or regions as monoliths, as homogenized cultures that can be generalized. We do that with “Europe” and “Asia” and “China” and everything else. In the particular case of American understanding of Indian cultures, religions, music and films… yeah, very few people “get” it.

Here are some photos of Priyanka at the TIFF premiere of Pahuna: The Little Visitors. That suit is HORRID.

42nd Toronto International Film Festival - 'Pahuna: The Little Visitors' - Premiere

Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of Paper Magazine.

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26 Responses to “Priyanka Chopra: ‘I feel like the word ‘Bollywood’ has been reduced to a Zumba class’”

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  1. anon says:

    Wasn’t she kicked out of Bollywood because she kept hooking up with married men? I’m pretty sure I read about how Bollywood actor’s wives wouldn’t have anything to do with her after this…

    • PIa says:

      Nope, She wasn’t kicked out and still is a big name there. But there are a lot of affairs in that industry, as with Hollywood.

    • OG Cleo says:

      It’s widely believed that she had an affair with Shahrukh Khan and I’m sure that didn’t win her any friends in the Bollywood Wife Mafia, but she made Bajirao Mastani a few years ago, which was a huge hit and won her a sh*t-ton of awards.

      • kibbles says:

        I love Shahrukh Kahn. Is he known to be a philanderer in Bollywood? That’s too bad but I shouldn’t be surprised. There must be dozens of women everyday throwing themselves at him.

      • OG Cleo says:

        Weirdly, not really. Dudes like Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan are way worse in the infidelity department. The affair with Priyanka never really was confirmed, but they very publicly canoodled and acted like a couple after making a movie together.

      • kibbles says:

        Hrithik Roshan is really handsome. If I could pick any guy in Bollywood to hook up with it would be him.

  2. PIa says:

    The editorial is not that bad. It’s a fashion editorial, not everything has to be twee.
    Also, she is right about Bollywood. People need to realize that Bollywood is a legit, huge film industry, bigger than Hollywood. And get over that these films have dancing, so did Hollywood films in the 1950s! Also, Slumdog Millionaire is a Hollywood film, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto def are not Bollywood stars just because they’re brown.

  3. Clare says:

    She is so beautiful but has zero style and apparently zero personality.

    • Lana 234 says:

      @ Clare she has a personality but her style is shit sometimes maybe she needs to dump her stylist.

  4. Megan says:

    I have no idea how Paper managed to take such a horrible cover photo of such a gorgeous woman. Honestly, that takes real effort.

    • Tanguerita says:

      The problem is – she is beautiful, but not in a “high-fashion”- way. There is nothing edgy about her – she is very next-door, only marginally more exotic-looking. Every attempt to make her look like a high-fashion model fails.

  5. Neelyo says:

    I don’t know what TV show she’s on.

    I keep seeing her here and on various red carpets but don’t know how she got there. What’s even funnier is I’ve read these posts about her hoping to find out more. Maybe she’s not an actress.

    • Cleo says:

      She’s on Quantico which is awful but I think gets okay ratings?

      She was also in that Baywatch movie this summer but idk how big of a part she had or if it was any good.

    • deezee says:


      She was also the villain in the Baywatch reboot this summer.

  6. kimbers says:

    many countries generalize the other, we’re not so special to think we’re the only ones lol

    • Angel says:

      This exactly. We shouldn’t be expected to know everything about everywhere else in the world, but just not to a$$holes about it. As if Indians understand the intricacies of there various regions of the US (or Canada, Canadian here).

      • Ceire says:

        With respect, I think your underestimating how pervasive American culture is to the rest of the world. American TV shows and films are shown worldwide, American music is played everywhere and their artists tour worldwide and cover magazines etc. Most of the developed world knows a good amount about the US.

        In contrast, I think it is fair to say that America is much more inward looking, culturally and socially.

        For example, most Irish people could name the 50 states. When most Americans hear “Ireland”, they think “Patty’s Day!”. I know I’m generalising massively, but you get the point ☺️

  7. White drake says:

    Has anyone here been to India? The average Indian man thinks we (western women) are all stupid sluts. Everybody generalizes. It’s not a big deal.

    • Lolafalana says:

      Also – I think Americans generalize about Americans……….what it means to be American. The human brain seems geared to oversimplify and categorize. I’m not saying it’s ideal – but I think it is likely biological.

    • MrsBump says:

      Uhhh i have been to India, lived and worked in south india for 6 months in fact and no, the average indian men does not think all western women are sluts. Where on earth are you getting this from?

  8. ash says:

    i thought she didnt want to be scene and have to wear the burden of a woman of color in hollywood….. looks like the REAL hollywood has hit her

  9. zee says:

    It’s ironic to see her talk about representation when she participated in the Indian version of white washing. She played Mary Kom, an East Asian looking boxer from India, in her bio pic. East Asian looking Indians are being discriminated in their own country and have zero representation in Bollywood or the media. Mayry Kom’s success was important to so many marginilized groups in India and Bollywood took that away from them. And Priyanka was already one of the leading actresses in India, she had a choice to say no but saw nothing wrong with ” Indian washing ” Mary Kom. But when it comes to herself she cares about representation.

  10. OG Cleo says:

    Priyanka Chopra is a beautiful woman and fine as a Bollywood actress, but she hasn’t figured out that acting styles are different in Hollywood than in Bollywood (at least the masala films she stars in). Her acting in “Quantico” is atrocious and it’s dumbfounding that it’s still airing.

    I wish the Richa Chaddas, Kalki Koechlins, Radhika Aptes, Konkona Sen Sharmas, Kangana Ranauts, etc. of Indian cinema were the ones breaking into Hollywood, not an average performer like Priyanka.

  11. phatypopo says:

    The suit is horrid but I LOVE the color on her