Hey Hollywood, this is what Priyanka Chopra sounds like. Get used to it. In an interview with People, Chopra said she's often asked about her accent. Or, to be more specific, her lack of one. But, the former Bollywood star who is now the kickass lead on Quantico is done apologizing for not sounding how others think she should.
“People want to put you in a box," Chopra said. "When I started out, people at auditions would be like, ‘Can you use your Indian accent?’ And I’m like, ‘I am speaking in my Indian accent. This is how we speak in modern India!”
Hearing Chopra's story should make us all angry. Especially, since we know it's not uncommon for Indian actors to be treated this way. Fellow Indian actor Aziz Ansari covered this same situation on his show Master Of None, where he shows up to a casting call and is asked to do a stereotypical Indian accent despite having grown up in America.
It's probably no surprise to hear that Chopra and Aziz bonded at the Met Gala. Luckily, it was something a little more positive than their casting call horror stories. "Aziz said, ‘A couple of years ago at this gala, I saw, like, one other brown person,'" Chopra told People. "‘And today there were, like, six of us in that room!’”
Chopra, who plays the villain in the upcoming Baywatch movie, has always been vocal about Hollywood's diversity problems and although it's slowly getting better, she admitted that "the struggle is really real." She has to constantly push back against what Hollywood or even Bollywood thinks she should look or act like.
Recently Chopra told Glamour that in India there is pressure to use skin-lightening creams and when she was younger she used them. "Then when I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream," she said. "I was playing that girl with insecurities. And when I saw it, I was like, 'Oh shit. What did I do?' And I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually really like my skin tone."
Chopra isn't interested in being the person others think she should be. She likes who she is, and doesn't plan on changing for anyone. As Chopra told Refinery29 last year, "I don’t want a label. I don’t want a box. I want a legacy.” And we definitely want that stitched on a pillow.
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