Priyanka Chopra Jonas is arguably the most successful Bollywood entertainer who has had her career crossover into global success. In fact, she just became the first Indian celebrity to reach 40 million followers on Instagram.
The “Quantico” star has never shied away from voicing the conversation of diversity and inclusion, during a recent conversation for her partnership with Obagi’s SKINCLUSION, Chopra told AOL’s Laura Galvan that she doesn’t let ethnicity define her character or her role as Alex Parrish on the hit ABC show.
“People are afraid of different. When I came into America, I made a conscious decision to not have my ethnicity define my characters or my roles. Just because I’m Indian doesn’t mean the story needs to be about a big fat Indian family. I am actor. It’s my job to convince America every week that I am Alex Parrish who’s an American girl. My ethnicity doesn’t define that.”
Chopra broadened her cultural boundaries after marrying American musician Nick Jonas. The couple tied the knot in a Western ceremony in Mumbai, India, on December 1. They then said “I do” again at a Hindu ceremony the next day. The events were preceded by a Mehendi party, which is a traditional pre-wedding function in the Hindu culture. So it’s no surprise that the headline-making multi-day wedding would inspire a film.
“The movie I’m producing is with Mindy Kaling, she’s writing it,” Chopra explained of the recently-announced project. “It’s a romantic comedy that goes back to a big wedding in India and it came from my wedding. The thought of it came from my wedding. I’m such a fan of Mindy’s that I just called her and was like, ‘Let’s combine our mights. I want to be able to have an all-South Asian cast in a Hollywood movie. How do we do that?’ We just talked about it and created it…We’re still writing, but we’ll shoot it next year at some point. The idea is to be able to connect with different people,” Chopra exclusively told AOL.
“I’m bi-continental. I live between Mumbai, New York and L.A. We have three houses. I can never find my shoes,” she said laughing. “But because my work takes me to all of these three cities and I work in India still, I have to be able to amalgamate both cultures – eastern and western at the same time – and yet, be me. It’s a really fun time to be able to do that.”
During our sit down conversation, Chopra opened up about the complexity that comes with auditioning for American-type roles as an Indian female.
“It wasn’t because, ‘Oh, we don’t want a brown person.’ That was not the reason. It was more like, ’We’ll have to explain in the story when her parents came to the U.S and we’ll have to explain the ethnicity.’ It became like, ‘We have to change the story.’ And I was like, ‘But you don’t have to change the story for a white person, or an American. Why do you have to change it for me?’”
Watch AOL’s complete interview with Priyanka Chopra Jonas in the video above to hear more about her thoughts on inclusion and how you can get involved with Obagi’s SKINCLUSION initiative.