I can marry tomorrow: Priyanka

MUMBAI: She’s back from the States after a shooting schedule of three months, and even if there is still a bit of jetlag, Piggy Chops isn’t showing any of it. The actress was in Delhi to cheer for the Indian Hockey team, all energy and enthusiasm. “I was very excited to at least try and attend one match,” she said.

And any plans for the IPL? “Not yet, I’m just focussing on hockey. I love cricket as well, I hope to catch some of the matches if I can.” Ask her which team she’d be rooting for, and she says hastily, “Oh, I don’t pick, a lot of my friends are on these teams, so I’m not picking any teams, at all!” Does that mean she’ll be cheering for everyone? “I’ll be cheering for the game.” Clever reply, we have to say. “Every time I watch a game, I’ll say ‘hmmm, so which is the team I’d like to pick today?’” So what will help her decide, which team has cuter guys, maybe? “Errr.... umm... well as a single girl I could say yeah.” Hold it, did she say single? “Yeah, definitely, you can hold me up to that,” she laughs, “But no, I always go with the stronger side baba, I like to play it safe! I like to be on the winning side, always.” Would Priyanka perform at any of the matches, or post match ceremonies? “Not yet, but it would be fun I think, to do it,” she says.

She was recently in the news for being contractually forbidden by producer Sajid Nadidwala to tweet about her next with Ranbir Kapoor, Anjaana Anjaani; what does she have to say about that? “Actually, that’s not happened, and I don’t know where that one’s come from. Because if you see any of my tweets, I never speak about my film, only about my experiences. The contract hasn’t happened, I’ve only read about it myself,” says PC.

Speaking of Twitter, and she’s pretty active on it herself, what does she think of the whole ‘living online’ phenomenon? “Well, I think there’s always those phases of everything, you know. And it’s such a fast world at the moment, that people really don’t have time for other people. And this is a way of being in touch. It’s made the world a smaller place for sure; speaking to friends and family abroad, they know what I’m doing in my life. So, in that way, I think it’s a great thing to have happened. But yes, the actual touch and feel of real people, the mystique of not knowing, you miss out on all those things.”

But hasn’t that also reduced the charm of stardom, that quality of being removed from the real world... Earlier, there used to be this aura and mystery surrounding a star, fans would wait for hours outside a shooting location just to get a tiny glimpse, but now they get live updates right from their living rooms... “But I don’t think that has anything to do with Twitter, or Facebook, or being online,” Priyanka chips in, “I think that’s an era which had kind of died off a few years ago. I think it’s because of the fact that stars are a lot more available, like I’m talking to you in an interview right now because I’m in Delhi, or I’ll be doing five commercials – I’m in your bedroom.”

Actors earlier wouldn’t do all that, it was just about a film. It was never really about a brand, it was never being associated with so many other things, doing IPL and TV and brand endorsements, conferences and conclaves... today, an actor is an active part of many, many things – a celebrity. There’s a lot more celebrity to it all, than just being an actor. I think that’s a change that has happened in, I think, not just Indian actors, actually, but actors abroad as well.”

But abroad, people know all about stars anyways – the paparazzi culture is much worse... “It’s not really about the paparazzi,” Priyanka opines. “It’s how much the actors are willing to put out about themselves. And today, I think, I would much rather people know me for the human being that I am. After all, I’m a normal person.”

So the whole process of demystifying the star, bringing them closer to people, has that happened for good? “I think that’s a good thing,” she says emphatically. “Because then people know the reality of who I am, rather than the projection of a certain image because of what the media has written, or some rumour they’ve heard. See, I come from a very normal background, I’ve never known films besides what I’ve learnt since I’ve been in them. So for me, my approach to films and cinema is not really that thought out. It’s just how it would be for a normal person – it’s like a job.”

So the old concept of a ‘star’ doesn’t really hold water for her? She explains, “If I were only a movie star, then I think this would be a bad thing, because then there’s no point, you’re losing the mystery and the enigma. But I’m not just a movie star, I’m in your drawing room every single day, you see me 25 times a day in 20 commercials that I do. If you find out I’m doing an event, you just have to drive up there and see me. So you have to move with the times, and I think that is why it works today.”

Coming back to the paparazzi, Bollywood today is much better, compared to Hollywood... “Thank God, yeah!” Priyanka exclaims. But she’d said it depends on how much the actors want to put in front of the paparazzi, does she really think it’s the celeb’s fault, or that the paparazzi is truly intrusive? “It definitely shouldn’t come here. My God, imagine somebody sitting outside my house with a telescope! Not that I have anything to hide, but it’s just your own privacy, and that’s highly intrusive. I think actors also need some downtime. But you do share as much as you want to. I mean, it’s your job to ask the question, it’s my job to see if I want to answer it or not.”

But isn’t it easy now also to create celebrity, generate controversy to be in the news always? She disagrees, “I don’t think it would survive, na. I’d give some credit to the audience’s intelligence, that they really wouldn’t give credibility to that, because it wouldn’t be associated with talent. You might be in the news, because of various other things, but if you’re not talented, you won’t sustain it. After your controversy, then what? Build another one, create another one; I think it’s exhausting.”

In her next film for Vishal Bhardwaj, Priyanka plays a character who murders seven of her husbands. What’s easier, playing the pretty face, the seductress, the siren, or the murderer? “I just don’t like it easy, I think,” comes her quick reply, “The more it challenges me, the more it excites me. I think I like to mix the bag a little bit. I’ve done Kaminey, Dostana, and I’ll be doing Don, and Vishal’s film; I like jumping from one to the other.”

Having being linked with so many of her co-stars, does she want to settle down, set the rumour mills straight? “You know, it’s not really planned. I can’t just say, ‘Okay, I want to get married tomorrow.’ There’s a technical problem – I’ll need to find a guy!” she chuckles. “Whenever I’ve had a plan, God’s said, ‘Uh oh, I’ve something else planned for you!’ I’m single at the moment, and the link-ups, they’re a part of your job. You have a nice conversation with a guy, and they say, ‘Ooh!’ When it’s a tad here and there, it’s fine. But when it’s stretched for a long time, I get very affected. I find it embarrassing that my dad would pick up the paper in the morning; sometimes I hide the paper and stuff! People forget that I’m also a daughter, or my brother might read it.”

We did a little quick Q&A session with PC, And here’s what we got:

Sexiest B’wood actor – Shah Rukh Khan

Favourite co-star – Umm, tough pick, oh my God, I have a lot of favourite co stars. Well... since Shah Rukh Khan’s my favourite actor, I kind of get dumbfounded when I work with him, I still do, so he wins!

Sexiest heroine (you can name yourself if you like) – I’d say besides myself, if I had to pick someone, I think Deepika and Bipasha. Very sexy bodies, very fit, toned, beautiful, besides myself (laughs).

Best actress – Kajol, for sure. Wackiest person, the most fun,

completely crazy – Me, really, I’m definitely the most fun to be with.

Favourite chill out place – My friends’ houses. I’m not a very party person. I’m a Cancerian na, so I’m very homely.

Love to pig out on – Everything. But junk food’s my favourite cuisine. I’m so grateful it doesn’t show!

Favourite outfit – Saree. I wear a lot of dresses because it’s more convenient, but if I was getting the opportunity I would wear sarees everywhere. I wear them to a lot of formal events.