Priyanka Chopra talks about starring in fairness product ad, being called 'too ethnic'
Priyanka Chopra said that she was once asked not to be part of a cast because she looked 'too ethnic'.
Priyanka Chopra says she was once asked not to join a project's cast because of her ethnic looks, but when the chance to work in the US came her way, she saw it as an opportunity to pave the way for others like her.
"When the opportunity came my way, I saw it as She an opportunity to break the ceiling for actors that look like me... Once I was asked not to be a part of a cast because I was too ethnic... I didn't realize how hard it was until I came to North America," Priyanka said at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on the evening of 6 September.
The former beauty queen, a #ShareHerJourney ambassador, was the guest at the TIFF Soiree. She was in conversation with festival artistic director Cameron Bailey, and spoke about her career as a Bollywood icon, before foraying into Hollywood with TV series Quantico and film Baywatch, and her involvement with philanthropic works as Unicef Goodwill ambassor.
These revelations about the discrimination she faced come in the wake of her opening up about starring in an ad for a skin lightening product. Speaking to Vogue, she said, "When I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream. I was playing that girl with insecurities. And when I saw it, I was like, 'Oh sh*t. What did I do?' I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually like my skin tone."
She also spoke about how she felt insecure about her own skin colour as a child and teenager, especially when she moved back to India after schooling in the US. She even admitted to using one such product when she was young.
"My role in Quantico was not written for an Indian girl... It started a conversation about what terrorists are [supposed to] looks like," she said, also adding: "I've had people take away films from me because I might not have agreed with them."
"It's not easy - when you come into entertainment being a woman. You've got to pull your socks up for a fight," Priyanka told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on the red carpet.
"No one's going to hand it out to you, whether it's credit, whether it's parts, whether it is the ability to make movies," she said, pointing to Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, the first female director for a studio superhero movie.
"You can understand how hard and few and far between these opportunities are. But it's got to take people like us to stand out there, dig our heels in and say we're not going to stand for it anymore," said the National Award-winning actress, who even took home the People's Choice Award in 2016 for her role in the TV series.
She described her previous films Mary Kom as being challenging and Fashion as having "a female character wouldn't do [in a Bollywood film] - drinking, smoking. It had truth."
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) September 7, 2017
With inputs from IANS
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