MUMBAI: If you’re on a crash diet in an attempt to look like Piggy Chops, give up! ’Coz when you find out how PC’s maintaining that bod, you’re gonna forget you diet charts!
Looking svelte in this short number, she reveals, “Eat pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, and take lots of stress to stay fit.” Is that how she manages to look the way she does? “Yes, I take loads of stress. And I can’t deal with a lot of things, like gossip about me. Eventually I snap out of it and tell myself, ‘Okay, I’ll go do my job, I’ll smile through this one and when I come back to my room, I can cry. People don’t understand and the media tends to forget that we are people at the end of the day. Even if I’m feeling totally unwell and can’t walk or am exhausted, I’ll have to make a press appearance if I am scheduled to make one. If I cancel it, I’ll be called unprofessional or somebody with starry tantrums. There’s no luxury in this profession.”
Stressing the fact that she’s after all, just a girl, Priyanka says, “Gossip still bothers me, it upsets me the most when it’s speculative and comes out of nowhere. I don’t like the fact that my dad reads the newspaper in the morning and has to read something totally stupid. I think there’s a lot more that a girl has to deal with than the guys in this profession.”
After this revelation, Priyanka makes another one, quite unsurprising though – she’s a compulsive workaholic. “Yes, that’s an interesting and correct analysis. But it’s exciting to be doing such films, having spent five years in the industry. To do parts that really experienced actors do and get the reviews I get is very encouraging,” she explains. So what’s she working on next? “I’ll start shooting for Anjaana Anjaani in November. October has been kept free for the promotion of Pyaar Impossible. I wanted to take a break and go on a holiday. I want to go backpacking across America, I want to go to Ladakh and take a month off. But I love my work, I really do. Even when I take my day off, my mind is at work. I wanna be here for a while, I’ve a huge passion for my profession. And the only way to do that is to do my work and not worry about the fringes. Hits and flops happen but being a typical emotional and sensitive Cancerian, I can’t stop thinking about these things.”
But all this work definitely does take a toll on her. She fainted on the sets of What’s Your Rashee? and landed in hospital. “Well, I always say this, ‘I was overworked and underpaid!’ What’s Your Rashee? sapped me. And there were too many things happening at the same time. I was sleeping for two hours a day, as I wanted to keep all my commitments. That’s when my parents put their foot down and said, ‘That’s it, now you go for a holiday,’” admits Priyanka.
And the workaholic sure knows that she’s B’wood’s new IT girl too – what with four of her films being superhits in a row. “I know. I’ve been here only five years and sometimes all this looks like it’s happened too quickly. But I guess, eventually there are just that many films and only some will do well.”
The top slot is a very fickle place. Three films do well and you’re there and if one doesn’t, you’re not there anymore. I think what is more important to focus on your work. And if people come out of the theatre and say, ‘Shit, she was really good in the film’, it adds more to my longevity than to the fact that a film is a flop or hit. I aim for that because I’ve had hits and flops. You can’t possibly not worry about them, but you can’t focus only on them. For me, it’s more important to pick characters that challenge me. I like choosing characters that make me say, ‘Why did I choose to play this character?’ I like doing that to me somehow... Masochist me!” she quips
Priyanka took home her eleventh award this year – at an awards function in Delhi. “I was hoping to get the award. I didn’t want to sit in the audience and clap for somebody else. That said, it’s okay to clap and be supportive even if you don’t get the award,” she laughs, adding, “I feel very responsible after receiving these awards. As much as I’d like to say, ‘Guys, I’m a young girl myself. I’m not that different from you’, awards come with responsibilities.”
And in the audience for the awards was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan too. All okay with Ashutosh Gowariker and the controversy at an award ceremony where Ashu had said that Ash deserved the award more than her? She’s quick to reply, “Ashu sir and I share a great relationship. We sorted everything out and we have a lot of respect for each other. We’re alive to tell the story and nothing else matters.”
For once, Priyanka does not say a straight “no comments” to the question about her love life. “When something substantial comes along and when I’ll feel and say ‘