Why Priyanka Chopra can break the silence
Nobody has really been in a position of Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who has firmly established herself internationally
Priyanka Chopra (Photo credit: GettyImages)
The unwritten rule in the top tier of Bollywood is that you don’t talk about all the bad things that happen behind the scenes, even if they are incredibly awful.
In that regard, some truly terrible incidents have been covered up or swept under the carpet over the years. This includes frontline stars having awfulness inflicted on them at the beginning of their careers, like the infamous casting couch, being attacked and career sabotage.
That is because the Hindi film fraternity has been a tightly knitted circle, where silence and denial have become normal. One or two who have been brave enough to speak out in the past had their careers ended. This has made the veil of secrecy even stronger. But what happens when a star becomes so big and makes a name away from the industry? That is when the fear of repercussions, and fake stories being planted in Indian media melt away.
Nobody has really been in that position like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who has firmly established herself internationally. She is happily married to singer Nick Jonas, has a young child, lives in America, has a thriving business and gets a lot of work in Hollywood. Nothing anyone can do or say in Bollywood will affect her in any way. If she never acted in an Indian film again, it would not affect her career.
Initially it seemed as if she wouldn’t reveal any hidden secrets and keep the cloak on shameful practices that exist in Hindi cinema in place. But Priyanka has always lived life on her own terms.
Although her memoir Unfinished was relatively tame in terms of revelations, the actress fired some opening shots at Bollywood by revealing that she was thrown out of films early in her career because some established leading men wanted to cast their girlfriends. If Bollywood breathed a sigh of relief after the book was published, they did so too soon.
Earlier this year, the actress revealed in a podcast that she had left India to pursue a career in America because of being pushed into a corner by people in the industry, who didn’t like her, and that she had stopped getting cast because of an unwillingness to ‘schmooze’ certain clubs and cliques.
More recently, the actress spoke about being driven to despair by a famous man she was in a relationship with and crying all the time. The worst kept secret in Bollywood is that the man was allegedly a very famous, married superstar. A lot of people knew, who she was talking about and those who didn’t found out with a quick Google search.
Although, what the actress has revealed so far might be minor in the wider scale, things like this didn’t really happen before. She can speak freely because dark forces in Hindi cinema can no longer dim her career, including those productions that stop casting women as leads in big commercial blockbusters after they cross 40.
She recently played the lead role in Hollywood film Love Again and her new web series Citadel topped the charts. The actress has other exciting international projects on the way, including season two of Citadel and various business ventures. So don’t be surprised if she reveals more about the dark side of Hindi cinema.
Unfortunately, those still stuck in the Bollywood hamster wheel don’t have the same privilege and must keep the dark secrets. The day more are brave enough to speak up like Priyanka has done, it may instigate a much needed positive change.