For her fans, Priyanka Chopra’s most anticipated performance will be on February 28 – those few moments when she will be on the stage presenting an award at the Academy Awards. This is where Priyanka Chopra has scored a first for an Indian actor. Alongside Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore and a host of other international stars, she’s been selected as a presenter at the upcoming 88th Academy Awards. Retweeting the announcement from the Oscars handle, Chopra said, “Looking forward @TheAcademy !! This will be an insaaaane night! (sic)”
This opportunity follows her recent spate of successes in both the Indian and international scene. She has given critically acclaimed performances in Hindi films such as Barfi!, Kaminey and Mary Kom and most recently in Bajirao Mastani. She has won many awards including a National Award in 2008. Last week, the actress was chosen for India’s third highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri.
On the international scene, her cumulative achievements may not be huge but they have been enough to fetch her an opportunity to be on the biggest and most watched live show across the world.
For Chopra this is the reward of five years hard work towards becoming an American pop icon.
She had crooned a few numbers for Indian films before Universal Music saw in her the potential of becoming an international pop music star from India and signed her up in 2011. Her first single, `In My City’, featured international singer will.i.am. Slammed by music critics in India, it had a big-ticket US release in 2012 in a TV spot for the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. It also won her the Best International Debut title at People’s Choice Awards India and three nominations at World Music Awards that year.
This set the ball rolling for Chopra. She brought Pitbull on board for her next single, which she released in 2013. With a cliché for a title, `Exotic’s’ video featured the popular American rapper who was fresh from the success of two hit tracks with Shakira and Christina Aguilera. The song made it to the Billboards.
However, her two biggest international stints have been on the American screen. Last year, Chopra lent her voice to a character for the animation film Cars before bagging the lead role in the American tele-series, Quantico.
When Chopra started shooting for the show last year, everyone in India believed she would play a small part in the series like Anil Kapoor did in a season of 24. But when the show went on air on ABC in September 2015, she was the leading lady, an FBI recruit suspected of carrying out a terrorist attack. The show received positive reviews on international websites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic and won Chopra the Favourite Actress in a New TV Series trophy at the People’s Choice Awards earlier this year.
Chopra’s greatest strength is that she is a good performer; she doesn’t depend on selfies or cameos with Hollywood stars but goes for big assignments and appearances that she thinks will be noticed.
At the same time, she hasn’t traded her career in India for a prospective one in the US. After Bajirao, she will now be seen in Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangajal which releases in March, playing a cop. She’s rumoured to be in talks for a role in the adaptation of the American series Baywatch.