Priyanka Chopra
Upala KBR (DNA; April 28, 2017)

Priyanka Chopra was in India for five days and has been caught up in a whirlwind of work leading up to her Hollywood debut, Baywatch. The actress, who was in Mumbai, left last night for Los Angeles. PeeCee is on a high. She has signed three films, but refuses to say which one, till the nod for Season 3 from her Quantico producers comes through. She had parties for friends and colleagues almost every day when she was here. We caught up with the actress on Baywatch and other things. Read on..

Are roles being written with you in mind in Hollywood? Case in point being Victoria Leeds for Baywatch.
(Laughs) Please don’t say that. It’s my first film and it wasn’t written for me at all. It was written for a man, but our director liked the idea of a female actor doing it, that’s how I came into the picture. His reasoning was that Dwayne never had a female villain go up against him. It’s fresh and new and that’s why it happened. Nor was Quantico written for me. I have not reached that place yet.

Is it true that the Baywatch team is planning to have a special promotional campaign entirely around you?
I don’t think so because the film is about lifeguards, action and all of those things. As for promotions, I am not sure, because I don’t get into the marketing and all that. That’s Paramount’s thing. But the idea was to definitely establish what Baywatch was — it’s about lifeguards. I think it was a deliberate move. Dwayne tweeted about it earlier — now with these trailers and posters coming out now, they wanted to wait closer to the release to reveal the villain or the idea of my presence in the film. I think that’s what it was. And I am someone who is of the belief that one actor doesn’t make a film — especially for a film like this. We are an ensemble cast of seven people and each one has contributed to the film so please don’t think it’s a Priyanka Chopra film! (Laughs) It’s not and it isn’t being treated like that. I have got a lot of kindness from my Baywatch team and Dwayne has been gracious.

His video at the press conference was cute.
Dwayne was so excited about India and when he found out that we are doing the press con and I told him that the media would really appreciate it coming from him, instead of me saying why he couldn’t come. He was like, ‘Great idea! Of course!’ And he made and sent it himself, I didn’t have to ask him, he’s very sweet like that.

Deepika brought Vin Diesel for her film. Are you bringing Dwayne down for the Baywatch premiere in India?
Then toh Dwayne won’t come to India if we tell him that (laughs). What is the explanation behind this? Why? Anyway, I don’t repeat things that have been done before. We are not doing a premiere here in India. Neither Dwayne nor Zac are coming. This press con is it. I am going now after this. I leave tomorrow. We have our promotional campaign, but physically we are dividing and ruling. We are only doing a Miami and one Berlin premiere and that’s it. But we are doing a lot of television promos like that because it goes global.

Baywatch has been given an R-rating abroad, which means it will be A here. Are you disappointed?
No why would I be? It is a Rated-R film there and it has to get an A certificate in India. Why shouldn’t I be okay with an A certificate? When I read the script, I knew it was always a Rated-R film. When I chose it, it was one.

Word is there are lots of F-words in Baywatch and because of the language, it got rated ‘R’.
No! No! No! (Laughs) There is a lot more in the film! It’s not sex or anything, but that Rated-R humour which it always will be. It is neither sexual humour. Baywatch is a fun film so the humour is definitely Rated-R fun.

We saw you saying the F-word in the trailer. Are you saying a lot of it?
Probably in a couple of places I have said but then everyone is saying it (giggles) and not just me. I am not comfortable with saying such words and my ears would turn red with embarrassment every time I had to say them. Vishal (Bharadwaj), my Saat Khoon Maaf director, would try and cajole me to use a cuss word just once, but I couldn’t. Gradually, I realised that in my world of cinema, it’s a language I will have to speak sometimes if I need to enter my creative world.

There were rumours that you would star with Tom Cruise in the follow-up to Mission Impossible’s last installment. True?
No that was rubbish. People just write things. I have stopped reacting to them now. I was never offered that film.

Today you are known as the most successful crossover star from ollywood, much loved and appreciated by American media and people alike. There are even super fans of yours fighting with Indians back here.
I have heard of the super fans fighting and I think it’s really sweet. But I want to tell you a few things. First of all, I am not crossing over and I don’t like that word. I think work is work. I won’t be divided. I go where my work takes me. I want to be a global actor — whether that’s USA, UK, Australia, Spain, India, Japan, China — I would love to work anywhere. I just want to act because that’s the only thing I know how to do. That is my trishul and I work very hard on that. I think everything that I have received today, especially India, USA and the world where my show has gone to 64 countries… I think you can never demand something like that. It has to be commanded and I think people appreciate the work I did. The only thing I know what I should do is make sure that work I do is of the best quality. Then, everything else is by default — people love what you do anyway. You don’t compromise on your work and I focus on that mostly.

Like you and Deepika, there are rumours of a rivalry between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. Is it real or hyped?
I can’t speak on his behalf, I know as much as you do. Whatever is out there on the internet, I guess. I never had that conversation with him.