From up there where she is perched, life must look like a bed of roses for the just-married Mrs Priyanka Chopra Jonas. But the climb to the top hasn’t been easy. The roses unfortunately came with the thorns from facing the wrath of powerful superstars, combating favouritism to making a name in a hostile imperialistic world Priyanka has fought it all and emerged a winner.
Her beginnings in Bollywood were not so humble. She opened her innings as an actor with Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar in The Hero: Love Story of a Spy and Andaaz respectively. In Andaaz Priyanka was made to do all the hot stuff (strip, smooch, slither, seduce) while her co-star Lara Dutta was seen as the true heroine of the film (demure, docile, coy).
Then came a slew of hits with Akshay Kumar including Aitraaz (where Priyanka vamped it up as a lady boss) and Mujhse Shaadi Karoge, and suddenly she was out of Akshay Kumar’s range of vision reportedly due to spousal pressure.
Salman Khan with whom she worked in few films during the first decade of the new millennium unofficially banned her from his films after she refused to do one of his family films. And the Bharat episode widened the gap even more.
Another major superstar Shah Rukh Khan with whom she was on super emotional terms was forced to stop working with her. It was rumoured that Priyanka was eased-out of several projects with Shah Rukh. And SRK’s inner circle too boycotted her. Not that Priyanka cared. A true fighter, she fought the nepotism, sexism and star-wives’ wrath that rules Bollywood. She reinvented her career by going westward. And today, she’s a true global star!
It was Madhur Bhandarkar’s hit film Fashion, where she played the heroine, fetched her the national award for best actress. Today Bhandarkar is rightfully proud of Priyanka, as he says, “It gives me immense pleasure to see her achievements. She is in a happy space personally and professionally. Priyanka has achieved all this by sheer hard work. She is not afraid of taking challenges and test unknown territories. During Fashion too she was absolutely committed towards her craft and I am happy that the film proved to be a great project and a turning point in her career as it also got her first National Award.”
It was time to move forward. But where were the leading men? It was at this point that Priyanka took the plunge westwards which no other leading lady from Hollywood had ever taken.
Priyanka hired herself an agent in Los Angeles and began building her career from scratch.
“Prashansiya baat hai (it is admirable). She has achieved the kind of worldwide success which no other Indian actor has. And she did it all on her own. I don’t know how she found her way from Bollywood to the American film industry. But she did. She is now a known name all over the world. We are all proud of her,” says Shatrughan Sinha.
Adds Dia Mirza, “Priyanka has always had big ambition and the willingness to put in whatever it takes to achieve these aspirations. She has worked relentlessly to get where she has and I am sure she will continue to grow. I’m happy she has found love and this marriage promises to be the beginning of many new beginnings in her life. Onwards and upwards, Peecee!”
Swara Bhaskara feels Priyanka is an inspiration to generations of Indian actors. “I think Priyanka Chopra’s journey shows all young women that there are no rules to success and there needn’t be a template to your life. That girls can live just how they want, do what they want and blaze their own trails. Kudos to her!”
The Ralph Lauren connection
The first time Priyanka and Nick Jonas stepped out together, they wore Ralph Lauren’s collection for the MET gala 2017. The couple chose the same fashion mogul to design their Christian wedding outfits too. PeeCee’s dress had more than two million mother-of-pearl sequins sewed into it, but it was the veil that stole the show. Reportedly, her veil was white, sheer and 75 ft long. In fact the embroidery on Priyanka’s wedding gown took a total of 1826 hours to complete.
Another hand-stitched embroidery on the wedding dress was a piece of PC’s mother-in-law’s own lace wedding dress, as well as eight words and phrases meaningful to the bride: family, hope, compassion, love, Nicholas Jerry Jonas, 1st December 2018 (their wedding date), Madhu & Ashok (the names of her mother and father) and Om Namah Shivay.
Meanwhile, Jonas wore a six-button double-breasted black tuxedo and patent lace-up dress shoes by Ralph Lauren, who also designed the outfits for the rest of the wedding party.
For their Hindu ceremony, the couple both wore traditional Indian outfits. And as she did with her Ralph Lauren gown, Chopra requested that the names of Jonas and her parents be embroidered in the waistband of her skirt....