“I’m proudly ambitious” – said Priyanka Chopra fiercely in her husky voice seeming doubtless and every bit inspirational. In the not so perfect real world, she came out and boldly spoke about breaking glass ceilings and questioned why a woman with a voice & opinion is usually suspected. Known best for making headlines with her strong choices, Filmfare cover star reveals why it’s high time for millions of women to chronicle their own paths and be their own super-heroes.
What reminded us of her global superstardom in this intriguing tête-à-tête was when Chopra mentioned, “I’m the only woman on the Forbes list”. It was instantly then we were dazed with her mega charisma recalling her journey from being a Miss World to becoming Bollywood’s best bet to Hollywood’s current sensation.
Here’s an extract of our not so rational conversation with us. Read below.
You made a fantastic speech at the Penguin Annual Lecture on women shattering the glass ceiling?
What does a glass ceiling mean? Basically, it’s stopping women from progressing. Usually, it happens where women are in minority, where you’re told you can’t go beyond this. It takes a lot of gumption and courage for women to stand up, as fingers will be pointed at you. Unfortunately, even today, when a woman has a voice and an opinion, she’s questioned. Like my remuneration is questioned all the time. When boys get crores and crores for their films, they’re considered superstars. But when a girl gets it, it’s questioned. Why the disparity? Earlier, it was hard to get an opening for a female-centric film but not so today. Girls have broken that ceiling. I’m the only woman on the Forbes list. As much as I’m proud of the fact that I’m standing neck to neck with my male counterparts, why are the other actresses, given how significant they are in Hindi cinema, not there? Again, the glass ceiling! Girls will fight it eventually.
Tell us about your great American dream and how did it happen.
I never had the plan of working in America. I’m destiny’s favourite child and I believe that. I believe there’s a hand on my head, which guides me in the right direction. What I do is that I recognise opportunity. Not all have that ability. It might not bang on your door, it might just walk past you. But you should be able to make something out of it. That’s called being ambitious! And I’m proudly ambitious. Sadly, ambition has become a bad word! People say, ‘Haye woh badi ambitious hai!’
Women tend to be judged when they’re ambitious.
But I’m too ambitious and I’m Priyanka Chopra. I want women of the world to be proud of the fact that they’re ambitious, that they’re driven – there’s nothing wrong in that. If you wanna be successful, which every human being, man or woman, has the right to be, then you’ve got to be ambitious. And there’s no shame in it. Being a good homemaker and being a career woman is not mutually exclusive anymore. We’re living in the 21st century. My mother is a working woman – she handles two companies. She runs my house and her own at the same time. You just must work it out so that you can give your 100 percent to everything.