7 Things You Did Not Know About Priyanka Chopra
Today, former Miss World, one of the most influential Bollywood figures, and one of the few Indian actresses to break into Hollywood turns 38. For several years, she’s been a role model to millions of people, and an inspiration to young women and girls around the world.
We know her primarily as an actress but there’s far more to her than that - philanthropy, writing, activism are words not as commonly associated with her but vital aspects of who she is.
So, on her birthday, we bring you some facts about the influential actress that you may not have known.
1. Priyanka promotes emerging talent with her own production company
After spending several years working in and understanding the industry, and becoming a prominent figure in it, Priyanka started her own production company, Purple Pebble Pictures with her mother in 2015. Located in Mumbai, the company works with emerging talents in the advertisement industry, television, as well as film industry, working especially with regional films. Her company has produced several great films, including Ventilator, a Marathi film which went on to win three awards at the 64th National Film Awards.
In addition to starting her own company, she’s invested in several as well, one of her primary investments being in the dating app Bumble. She also invested in and joined the Board of Trustees at Holberton School - a tech school - to promote gender diversity in the tech industry.
2. In 2013, she made fashion history
Back in 2013, before the issue of diversity came to the forefront of the fashion industry, Priyanka Chopra was selected by Paul Marciano, then president of the American label Guess to model for the brand. By doing so, she made history - becoming the first Indian movie actress to model for them. Marciano, on meeting her, branded her the next Sophia Loren.
At the time, for South-Asian girls around the world, seeing a woman who looked like them modelling for a global brand like Guess was a rare occurrence and one that no doubt inspired and instilled confidence in many.
3. Priyanka has always been the “People’s choice”
Priyanka became the first South Asian actress to win a People’s Choice Award in 2016 for “favourite actress in a new TV Series” for her role on Quantico and went on to win yet another in 2017. In 2017 and 2018, she also made it onto the Forbes list of 100 Most Powerful Women.
On April 12th, 2016, Priyanka Chopra received India’s fourth-highest civilian award at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, for her contribution to arts in the country.
In 2017, she was awarded the Dadasaheb phalke award, India’s highest award in cinema. She was named by Time as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2017.
4. There is hardly a place on earth where Chopra has not left her “impressions”
In 2009, she became the first Indian actress in history to have her foot impression cast at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence - dedicated to the renowned shoemaker and designer of the 20th century- Salvatore Ferragamo. By doing so, she joined the liked of iconic actresses such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
5. Priyanka Chopra has given so much more to the world than we know
Her organisation, “The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education” supports efforts to provide support to underprivileged children in the fields of Health and Education. 10% of her own earnings are dedicated to the functioning of her foundation and its operation. She funds the treatment and education of 70 children across the country - 50 of whom are girls.
Besides running her own organisation for social good, she has worked with UNICEF since 2006, promoting education and children’s rights through panel discussions and social media.
In 2010, Priyanka became a UNICEF National Ambassador, using her platform to promote child rights. She featured in several UNICEF videos to build awareness about child rights and healthy environments for adolescents. In 2016, she became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador after having worked with them for over a decade.
6. Priyanka faced racism as a teenager in the United States and was often bullied in school
As a child, her parents’ occupations led to her living in several cities across the country, and at 13, moved to the United States to study, where she lived with her aunt. It is here that she began acting, taking part in theatre productions and choral singing.
Priyanka has often spoken about the racial issues she faced as an Indian in the United States and says that she was frequently bullied. She says, "I was a gawky kid, had low self-esteem, came from a modest middle-class background, had white marks on my legs. But I was damn hard working. Today, my legs sell 12 brands.” - a true testament of her journey to international stardom.
Before winning pageants, being crowned Miss World, and becoming an actress, Priyanka Chopra dreamed of being an aeronautical engineer for NASA.
7. Priyanka and husband Nick Jonas first started talking via text
Although common knowledge states that they met at the 2017 Met Gala, they pair first started talking in 2016, when he DMd her on Twitter. In response, she told him to text her instead, and that’s when their interaction first began. They then met at the Oscars in 2017 but Priyanka couldn’t stay for long, for she had a flight to catch.
However, after months of talking on text, they met properly a week before Met Gala that year, where they talked over drinks. They then attended the 2017 Met Gala together, and although both claim it was purely platonic at the time, it made fans of both go wild!
As a self-made woman, Priyanka is truly a symbol of the phrase “shattering the glass ceiling”. She came from an ordinary background, and worked hard for years, to become one of the most famous people in the world. She uses her influence for the good of others as an activist, and is a role model to thousands of children.
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Priyanka Chopra has, over the years, been a perfect blend of humble, confident and determined, and if any quote can sum her up, it is her own:
"I think it's great to be flawed. I am hugely flawed, and I like it this way. That's the fun of life. You fall, get up, make mistakes, learn from them, be human and be you." - Priyanka Chopra
Written by Tishya Doraiswamy
Content Writer @ Skyshot Media