It would be good to know what movie Priyanka Chopra was talking about, and hear from the casting directors.
Chopra is gearing up for the third season of "Quantico," which premieres April 26 on ABC. She's the first South Asian star to headline a primetime TV show in the U.S., after being a movie megastar for more than a decade in her native India. (She currently has 22.4 million Twitter followers. So yeah -- she's pretty famous.)
She's still trying to break into the American film market -- "Baywatch" wasn't exactly a huge help -- and she told InStyle she has lost parts because of her skin color.
"It happened last year. I was out for a movie, and somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said, 'She's the wrong — what word did they use? — 'physicality.' So in my defense as an actor, I'm like, 'Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?' Like, what does 'wrong physicality' mean?" Chopra pauses. "And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, 'I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who's not brown.' It affected me."
It would also be sad if they thought she needed to be skinnier, but really. What exactly was the role that they specifically -- according to her agent -- "wanted someone who's not brown"? If it was a historical period piece like the Mary Queen of Scots movie with Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, then that would make sense. But other than that ... ???
It's impossible to know the context from here, but she's reporting the feedback she got from her agent. That must've been an awful thing to hear. Not "work harder on your acting," or even the harshness of "lose 10 pounds," but "you were born the wrong color."
Read Priyanka Chopra's full interview for more on the differences between the Indian film market vs. Hollywood. Turns out, India is more open and brazen about admitting they pay their male actors more.
"A [a Hindi-language movie] producer-director said to me, 'Well, you know how it is in these big tentpole movies with the big boys. This is the budget for the girl, and we can't move beyond that,' which was, like, a measly five percent of what [the male lead] was getting.
It happens in both countries, it's just that here, it's hidden behind other things. In America, everyone is so worried about being liable that they don't want to say anything wrong, but they end up doing it anyway."
Chopra goes into more detail in the story. She's not the only one to struggle as an actor, and it must have helped her along the way that she's so beautiful. But the entertainment industry is often pretty ugly. Good for her for persevering through everything, and for paving the way for others to follow.
"Quantico" Season 3 premieres Thursday, April 26 on ABC.
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