Priyanka Chopra is well on her way to global domination: Since winning the Miss World pageant in 2000, she's made a name for herself as a Bollywood icon and broke America with a leading role in the ABC show Quantico. Now she's taking on Hollywood, starring opposite Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as villain Victoria Leeds in the all-new reboot of Baywatch.
Her dedicated fanbase is next to none, so when BuzzFeed got the chance to meet up with Priyanka in London to promote Baywatch, it only seemed natural that we get her to answer some of your questions – and we talked everything from being a badass woman to her secret desire for superpowers.
What was the most enjoyable part of playing a villain in Baywatch? – shezaahmed
Priyanka Chopra: Everything about playing a villain is most enjoyable, especially when you’re in a comedy – and, look, Baywatch is not a serious movie. Even we don’t take Baywatch seriously, and we’re in the movie. So to play a villain in a comedy is so much fun, because I can think of the weirdest things and it’s OK. We pulled out a stool for Victoria to stand on because she wouldn’t put her feet into the sand – she didn’t want her shoes to get dirty – and it’s so normal in her world because she’s so narcissistic. It was just absurdly fabulous.
As a fan following interviews on a daily basis, you always look so happy, energetic, and positive no matter what’s going on in your life. How do you manage to stay so positive? – IAlyazya_
PC: That’s a really good question. Of course, I’m human, and I’m a girl – I have days where I hit a wall and I’m really upset – but I’m also an entertainer. I’m professional, and it’s my job to do what I do and do it to the best of my ability. So I tell myself that, and I tell myself that when I go out there and the camera comes on and you ask me questions, I have to be my best. So I put my best foot forward, even if I’m feeling whatever I’m feeling.
I know your social media is very popular. Have you ever faced negative thoughts, and if so how do you deal with them? – owlover372
PC: On social media? Psh, yeah! [laughs] It’s almost like trolls live for me! You just have to ignore them. Who cares? Social media trolling cannot become international news. It’s absurd. It’s people sitting behind the anonymity of a laptop and writing whatever they want because they have an opinion. Even though it’s empowering, I don’t give it so much importance. I just focus on all the love and support that I get.
What is your number one tip for global domination? – iftu
PC: I’ve been asked that question two or three times today! I must be really on my way to global domination! I’m on my way, hopefully – my ambition in life is global domination, but I’m not quite there yet. I think the most important thing, which I tell everyone, is… You know, we’re all so different, and we try to be like other people, but it’s really important to identify what’s unique about you. You’re just one of you, and that’s what makes you stand out. For the globe to know who you are, you’ve got to be true to you. I think that’s how it might work. We’ll find out in a few years. [laughs]
You play such a strong character in Quantico. What have you learned from Alex Parrish, and what can we learn from her? – xoPCStyle
PC: Well, Alex Parrish is one of my favourite characters that I’ve played in my career – and I’ve played quite a few. She’s such a modern, empowered woman. She’s unapologetic about her actions, she lives life on her own terms, she has integrity, she has class, she has strength, she’s tough, but at the same time she’s feminine and vulnerable, and I love that mix of who she is. She’s flawed but unapologetic, and I think that’s what the modern woman today stands for, which is why she’s one of my favourite characters. That’s what I’ve learned from her – a little bit of fearlessness.
My mom wants to know what are the most satisfying characters to play, and do you have a dream role that you want to play? – emilykatherine
PC: Hi to your mom! What roles are the most satisfying? I really like playing parts where I get to explore various facets of characters – I never play myself in movies, because that would be pointless and boring. It’s like a painting – I think about their characteristics, I think about what they would be like, and those ones are the most fun.
And what’s my dream character? I want to be a superhero! I want to have supernatural abilities, basically. America is known for that, and I’ve just done one movie there but if I was to put it out there, I’d want telekinesis. Is that what it’s called? Yeah, I’d want superpowers.
What would be your best advice for someone looking to be a female producer and/or director in such a male-dominated industry? – born_confused
PC: Well you’re right, first of all, it is a male-dominated – not just industry – world, and that’s how we’ve lived it for so many years. I think to be able to be a producer or director, or any other vocation you might want to take on, it’ll be a fight, and you’ve got to not be afraid of it. There’ll be people who’ll want to pull you down, there’ll be people who say things about you that may not be true at all just so you feel small, so you don’t become the best that you are, but you just have to dust off your detractors and keep going. I think that’s very important for any woman.
What is one thing you’d tell your 15-year-old self? – electricityscape
PC: Wow, when I was 15 I was going through a lot. I was going through major self-esteem issues. I was extremely skinny, very gawky, I had this crazy long hair and I didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t confident about myself at all. I lived in America at that time, and I was made very conscious of my skin colour and where I came from, and I think I would tell my 15-year-old self, who was dealing with all those things, that we live in a world where no one has the right to tell you who to be, or how to be, or how to live your life. We give people the power to do that. So choose the people you want to give the power to shake or break or make you. Otherwise it’s all on you.
What values do you appreciate from both Indian and American culture, and how have they shaped you? – whodatv504
PC: I’m an amalgamation of the east and the west, for sure, because I lived in both countries as a teenager, and that shapes you tremendously. The best qualities I’ve imbibed from America… There’s a fearlessness that I’ve imbibed from there. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know. [laughs] I guess my parents also taught me that as a kid, but I love the fact that America is the land of the free and you can say anything and have an opinion. That’s something I learned from living in America, and the one thing I learned living in India is the value of family, tradition, and culture, and engulfing everyone into one big family. Having a little bit of both of those has, I guess, made me me.
And, the last question… How is your puppy Diana since you adopted her from your last BuzzFeed shoot? – Shreetika
PC: Diana! I haven’t seen her for, like, a month and a half. She’s staying with a friend of mine on the West Coast. She flew on a plane for the first time and she was really nervous, but now she’s good. She’s happy, she has doggy friends, and I really miss her! I can’t wait to see her. Once I’m done with all of this Baywatch craziness, then I’ll have her back.