No Indian star has made a bigger splash in Hollywood than Priyanka Chopra — and the Baywatch actress told AFP she is on a quest to shatter myths about Bollywood, including its approach to sex.
Chopra was the first Indian actress to lead a primetime US series with FBI thriller Quantico and cemented her global celebrity status by marrying pop singer Nick Jonas last December.
That star power secured a glitzy, red-carpet slot at Toronto’s film festival for The Sky is Pink, Chopra’s first Hindi-language film in three years. It is the only Asian film on the prestigious gala lineup at North America’s biggest movie festival.
“People get surprised when they see The Sky is Pink and they’re like, ‘this is not a Bollywood movie.’ Bollywood is not a genre!” Chopra told AFP ahead of the premiere Friday.
“It really is my quest to educate people in that.”
Directed by Shonali Bose, The Sky is Pink tells the tragic true story of Aisha Chaudhary, an inspirational Delhi teenager whose life was cut short by a rare genetic disorder.
Chaudhary delivered a TED talk and wrote a book on her battle before her death in 2015 at the age of 18. But the film focuses on her parents, exploring how their marriage and love—and even their sex life—survived the loss of two children.
Until recently kissing was rarely shown in films made by conservative Bollywood, better known abroad for its colorful musical numbers and fairytale romantic plots.
“I don’t think we haven’t spoken about sexuality in Indian films—we do,” said Chopra, 37. “I think sexuality is spoken about in many different ways in Indian cinema.”
“It’s culturally sensitive, yes,” she added. “India is an amalgamation of modernity and tradition. And this film is made by a modern Indian. So hence, you see what her language is. This is true to who she is.”