India — Actor Priyanka Chopra in her memoir, Unfinished, has written about being ‘saddened’ by the ‘patriarchy and favouritism’ that exists in Bollywood. Unfinished released on Tuesday, after much fanfare.
In the book, Priyanka recounts her journey from small-town India to the Hollywood big leagues. She wrote about having had several demeaning experiences in the film industry when she was starting out.
According to Zoom, Priyanka wrote about an incident during the filming of a seductive song sequence that required her to strip off her clothes, one item at a time. Because it was a long song, Priyanka asked the director if she should wear extra layers, so that she wouldn’t be ‘down to skin way too fast’.
“The director suggested I speak to my stylist, so I called him and briefly explained the situation, then passed the phone to the director. Standing right in front of me, the director said: “Jo bhi ho, chaddiyan dikhni chahiyen. Nahi toh log picture kyon dekhne aayenge?” which translates as “whatever happens, panties should be seen. Otherwise, why would people come to watch the movie?” wrote Priyanka.
She wrote that she quit the project the next day. “I was ready to go full-out as a temptress in the number. The director’s words and tone, though, conveyed that he regarded me in a way that I found unacceptable,” she added. Priyanka wrote that her decision to bow out left the director livid, and he paid a visit to her on the sets of another film in an ‘agitated’ state. Her co-star, Salman Khan, had to intervene.
Priyanka also wrote about being objectified by the very first filmmaker she met with after being crowned Miss World in 2000. According to The Independent, Priyanka wrote, “After a few minutes of small talk, the director/producer told me to stand up and twirl for him. I did. He stared at me long and hard, assessing me, and then suggested that I get a boob job, fix my jaw, and add a little more cushioning to my butt. If I wanted to be an actress, he 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.”
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