Priyanka Chopra Jonas says she has spent enough time playing second fiddle to heroes in her two decades in the movies and hopes her highly anticipated film Jee Le Zaraa will help female actors have more choice in their lives.
Priyanka, one of the most popular Indian performers in the world, will share the screen space with Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt in the road trip movie.
“I’ve spent a long time in my career where we’ve always been subservient to men. The heroes decide where the film is shot, who gets cast and what happens. It’s boring. We live in a time where women have freedom of choice. should be able to have their lives,” the 40-year-old actor said in an interview.
The germ of Jee Le Zaraa, directed by actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, took root in Priyanka Chopra’s mind and what followed was a lengthy telephone conversation with her friends Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt.
“I called Alia and Katrina, this is before Farhan or anyone came on board. I called the girls first. I was at home and wanted to make a Hindi movie. But I wanted it to be on women’s terms,” she added.
The film is produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment and Tiger Baby, under the direction of Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. Shooting will begin sometime next year. Priyanka believes her generation of female actors has paved the way for the emerging female performers to headline powerful stories.
“My generation of actresses really opened the door for the next generation of actresses to be the faces on the posters, to be able to sell movies. So I really wanted to get my friends together and say let’s make a movie that will do well at the box office and be ours… So the stars aligned and we decided to do it. Hopefully we can start next year,” she said.
In addition to the Bollywood movie, the star of The Matrix Resurrections is also looking forward to the premiere of the Amazon original series Citadel, produced by Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo.
Citadel is a multi-series franchise with local productions being made in Italy, India and Mexico. Priyanka and Game of Thrones star Richard Madden headline the US version, which also features Danish actor Roland Moller, known for films such as Skyscraper and Papillon.
Priyanka Chopra, who will next star in the romantic Hollywood drama Love Again, said it was challenging to work on Citadel as most of the show was shot during the pandemic. But working with the Russo Brothers was a wonderful experience, the actor added.
“The first season of Citadel has ended and should be released next year after Love Again. It was a very difficult show because we shot it during the pandemic… I’m very excited because it’s very ambitious. It looks amazing and I can’t wait to share it with the world. It’s a great cast and Russo Brothers are magical to work with.”
Described as an action-packed spy series with a “riveting emotional center,” Citadel is executive produced by Russo Brothers along with former ABC Studios president Patrick Moran and Mike Larocca. The show was shot in various locations in the US and UK.
Priyanka Chopra said her Purple Pebble Pictures production banner has a deal with Amazon Prime Video, under which she is developing multiple projects for the OTT platform.
The idea is to collaborate with new filmmakers and give opportunities to young talent, said the actor, who has supported the Marathi hits Fan and Paani, as well as the Nepali feature film Pahuna: The Little Visitors.
“The idea of my company is to always work with new filmmakers. That gives me excitement because when I came to the industry, nobody did that for new people. I had to build my own path… I’ve built enough credibility where I can be the springboard for new filmmakers to get to where they want to be,” she said.
The actor-entrepreneur is currently in India promoting her hair care brand Anomaly, which has been launched in the country with the beauty e-commerce platform Nykaa.