Just a minute: Priyanka Chopra

Actress has emerged as one of India's most bankable stars

MUMBAI -- She is the girl with the golden touch. In the past few years, Priyanka Chopra has cemented her place as one of the most bankable heroines in Bollywood.

From "Dostana" to "Kaminey," the dusky 27-year-old is experimenting with different roles but admits that at times she prefers to do "simplistic films."

Chopra spoke to Reuters about her new film "Pyaar Impossible," why she may not get any awards this year and how 2009 fared in her books.

Q: What made you say yes to "Pyaar Impossible"? It seems like a regular love story.
A: "When Uday (Chopra) and Jugal (Hansraj) came to me I think even they were not sure whether I would do the film, but what appealed to me was the simplicity of the script. At that point I was doing films like 'Kaminey' and 'What's Your Raashee.' I had just finished 'Fashion,' all of which were very difficult films. The simplicity of the love story was something I really liked."

Q: Your roles in the last couple of years have really differed. How do you see your growth as an actor during this time?
A: "I feel that I have just recently understood what acting really is and what I can do. I was very young when I started out, I was just 17. So now I am like a kid in a toy store. In every film, I want to do something different. I want to do different kinds of roles, different kinds of looks. I am very grateful for the last five or six films that I have done, because they have given me that kind of space."

Q: Now that awards season is coming up, do you have any hopes from any of your films in 2009?
A: "Well, I don't know about that. I am excited. 'Kaminey' got a great response for me. People loved my work in the film and it was something I didn't expect. Anyway I try not to have expectations. Plus, I am not going to be in India at that time, and you know how awards are, you have to be there."

Q: How has 2009 been for you?
A: "It was great. I won my Best Actress (award) this year for 'Fashion.' 'Fashion' was really special because it was such a girl's movie and was so heavy on me. The fact that a film like that did the business that it did, made me feel really good about myself. A lot of people said who is going to watch a female-centric film, but it had a great opening despite being an A- certificate film. 'What's Your Raashee' didn't do as well as it should have, so that upset me. I had put in a lot of work into the film but that is my job. As an actor you have to put you heart and soul into every film."

Q: You had two of your toughest roles in "What's Your Raashee" and "Kaminey."
A: "Yes, both were hugely tough roles. 'Kaminey', especially because the character came from a background I didn't identify with at all. It was crucial that Sweety had an intrinsic earthiness to her, which was difficult for me.
"It is easier for me to do 'Dostana.' That is why I was hugely surprised when I got the reviews that I got for this film. It might be a risky proposition but what's the point if you don't push the envelope? There will be a time when you do a film that you know will do well, and even I will do those films once in a while."

Q: You've also been accused of overworking, pushing yourself a lot. Is that true?
A: "Come on, I just fell ill during two films. During 'Dostana' I was working hard, I had two films releasing at that point. But imagine I was talking to you slowly and without any energy. How boring would I be. I love my energy and I am at my happiest when I am on set."

Q: Have people been telling you to slow down?
A: "My parents told me for a while… but who listens to parents anyway? (laughs). I did listen, I went for a holiday, I am obedient like that. But then I came back and wanted to work. Now my mother has given up on me. I love people, I love my work."

Q: Which films are in the pipeline?
A: "Well, there is 'Anjaana Anjaani' with Ranbir Kapoor which is a love story with a fresh twist to it. Then I am starting Vishal's (Bhardwaj's) film which will be my most difficult film, even though I know I say that about every film. It is like a dark comedy and it's a part which is so brilliantly written. We have lots of male leads in the film -- there are about seven husbands in the film. But I cannot say anything more about it."
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