Priyanka Chopra Jonas has revealed a shocking incident when a film director suggested she should undergo plastic surgery in order to make her acting debut in Bollywood after she was crowned Miss World in 2000.
Chopra, who is married to American singer-actor Nick Jonas, wrote about this experience in her upcoming memoir "Unfinished", in which she shared that the first director she met for acting prospects suggested that she should have a “boob job” and fix her “proportions”.
“After a few minutes of small talk, the director/producer told me to stand up & twirl for him. I did. He stared at me long and hard, assessing me, & then suggested that I get a boob job, fix my jaw, & add a little more cushioning to my butt”, she wrote in the book.
Her then manager also agreed with the director’s suggestion. “If I wanted to be an actress, he (director) said I’d need to have my proportions 'fixed', and he knew a great doctor in LA he could send me to. My then-manager voiced his agreement with the assessment”, Priyanka said.
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Feeling “stunned and small” after the meeting, Priyanka pondered, “Was he right that I couldn’t be successful unless I had so many body parts 'fixed' I thought of how individuals in the media and others in the industry had referred to me as 'dusky' and 'different-looking', and I wondered if I was cut out for this business after all”.
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However, she didn’t listen to anyone and followed her heart.
Priyanka has opened up about the experience in an interview with Metro.co.uk and shared that all this was not only “normal” in the industry, but she was asked to stay silent and not share it with anyone for the sake of her career.
“It’s so normalised… I talked about a movie that I walked out of because of how I was spoken to by the director. It was early in my career, but I never told him why I walked out. I never had the courage to stand up for myself, and actually admit it”, Priyanka shared.
When asked why she didn’t tell the director the real reason she'd walked out of the movie, she explained, “Because I heard so often, ‘Don’t be a nuisance, you’re new in the industry, you don’t want to have a reputation that you cause trouble or you’re not easy to work with’”.
She confessed that since it was so normalised, she also “fell for it”, despite being a “forward-thinking, smart girl”.
“I faced that like everybody else when you’re in patriarchal industries (Bollywood), which ours has been for a very long time”, Priyanka said.
The Quantico actress shot to fame with her performance in Bollywood movies such as "Fashion" (2008), "Dostana", "7 Khoon Maaf’" (2011), "Barfi!" (2012), "Mary Kom"(2014), "Bajirao Mastani" (2015), "The White Tiger" (2021), and many more.
She has numerous Hollywood projects in the pipeline, including "Matrix" and "Text For You".