Priyanka Chopra is one of the best Indian actress, singer, film producer, philanthropist, and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant. She is one of India’s highest-paid and most popular celebrities, born on 18 July 1982 in Jamshedpur, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), to Ashok and Madhu Chopra, both physicians in the Indian Army. Due to her parents’ occupations, the family relocated to a number of places in India, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Ambala, Ladakh, Lucknow, Bareilly, and Pune but she considers Bareilly her home town and maintains strong connections there.
Chopra has won a National Film Award for Best Actress for Fashion (2008) and five Filmfare Awards: Best Female Debut for Andaaz (2003), Best Performance in a Negative Role for Aitraaz (2004), Best Actress for Fashion (2008), Critics Award for Best Actress for 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), and Best Supporting Actress for Bajirao Mastani (2015). She has also won two People’s Choice Awards: “Favourite Actress in a New TV Series”, and “Favorite Dramatic TV Actress” for Quantico. She is the first South Asian actress to win a People’s Choice Award. In 2016, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India for her contribution to arts.
At the age of thirteen, Chopra moved to the United States to study, while in Massachusetts, she participated in several theatre productions and studied Western classical music, choral singing, and Kathak dance. After three years, Chopra returned to India, she won the local “May Queen” beauty pageant, after which her mother then entered her in the Femina Miss India contest of 2000 where she finished second, winning the Femina Miss India World title. Chopra was then crowned Miss World 2000 and Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty—Asia & Oceania and became the fifth Indian contestant to win Miss World, and the fourth to do so in seven years.
After winning Miss India World, her screen debut occurred in the 2002 Tamil film Thamizhan as the love interest of the protagonist, played by Vijay. In 2003, Chopra made her Bollywood film debut in movie ‘The Hero: Love Story of a Spy’ Later that year she appeared in Raj Kanwar’s box-office success Andaaz for which her performance earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Her first three releases in 2004—Plan, Kismat, and Asambhav—performed poorly at the box-office. Later that year she was starred in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Aitraaz, both the movies did great and she won a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role. In 2005, Chopra appeared in six films. Out of which Blackmail, Karam, Yakeen, and Barsaat were commercially unsuccessful but ‘Waqt- The race against time’ and ‘Bluffmaster’ proved to be a box- office success. Starting 2006 with special appearances in three films, Chopra starred in Rakesh Roshan’s superhero film, Krish. The film was worldwide attaining a blockbuster status. Her next film ‘Aap ki khatir’ was a flop but Chopra’s final release of 2006 ‘Don’ declared a box-office success in India and overseas.
In 2007, Chopra had two leading roles in ‘Salam-e-Ishq’ and ‘Big brother’ both were unsuccessful. In 2008, Chopra was starred in Love Story 2050. Her performance was poorly received. She next appeared in the comedy God Tussi Great Ho, Chamku and Drona marked Chopra’s sixth film in succession which had failed at both the box-office and critically. Critics generally perceived at this time that her career was over. The string of poorly received films ended when Chopra starred in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion, Both the film and her performance received critical acclaim, becoming a major turning point in her career. She won National Film Award for Best Actress, the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, the IIFA Award for Best Actress, the Screen Award for Best Actress and the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Chopra’s final film of the year was a romantic comedy Dostana which was a financial success and Chopra’s performance and look in the film was praised.
In 2009, Chopra played a feisty Marathi woman in Kaminey, The film received critical acclaim and became successful at the box-office. Her role earned her several awards and nominations. She next appeared in What’s Your Raashee? She received the Screen Best Actress Award nomination for her performance in the film. She was also considered for inclusion in the Guinness World Records book for being the first film actress to portray 12 distinct characters in one film. In 2010, Chopra starred in Pyaar Impossible and Anjaana Anjaani. The films were a moderate commercial success and received mixed reviews from critics.
She starred 2011, with a black comedy 7 Khoon Maaf which was acclaimed by critics. She earned the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress and a nomination for the Filmfare Award, IIFA Award, Producers Guild Film Award, and Screen Award for Best Actress. Chopra’s final release of the year, Don 2 and Agneepath received a great response and her next, Teri Meri Kahaani received mixed reactions. Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi’, was her final appearance of 2012. She received unanimous praise for her portrayal and received many awards. In 2013, she lent her voice to the character of Ishani, Chopra, a fan of Disney films, had fun voicing the character saying “The closest I could come to being a Disney princess, I think, was Ishani”. She did Zanjeer which was a flop and did Krish3 in which she had a very little role. She also appears in an item number titled “Ram Chahe Leela” in Ram-Leela. In 2014, Chopra played the lead female role in Gunday and Mary Kom, her performance received critical acclaim. Chopra won the Screen Award for Best Actress, the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and received another nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
In 2015, Chopra starred in Dil Dhadakne Do, Both the film and her performance attracted positive reviews. She received several awards for that. She signed a talent holding deal with ABC Studios and was later cast in the American thriller series Quantico as the character Alex Parrish. The series premiered on 27 September 2015 on ABC, making Chopra the first South Asian to headline an American network series.
The series received positive reviews from television critics and Chopra was praised for her performance. She received the People’s Choice Award for “Favourite Actress in a New TV Series” for her role in Quantico, becoming the first South Asian actress to win a People’s Choice Award. The following year, Chopra won a second People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Dramatic TV Actress”. Chopra next portrayed Kashibai, in Bajirao Mastani which was thoroughly praised. In 2016, She did Jai Gangaajal and also produced a Marathi Comedy-drama Ventilator under her production Purple Pebble Pictures. In 2017, Chopra made her Hollywood live-action film debut in Seth Gordon’s action comedy Baywatch opposite Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. The feature received unfavorable reviews.
Chopra has several projects at the various stages of production. She is currently filming A Kid Like Jake, and a romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic? She is also producing over a dozen regional films in various languages under her production company. She has also signed Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury to direct a Hindi film starring her for her company. Additionally, she will portray astronaut Kalpana Chawla in Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’s untitled biopic.
Chopra’s main vocal influence was her father, who she said was “an incredible singer”, and helped develop her interest in singing. She used her vocal talent early in her pageantry career. After her first song in Thamizhan (2002), In July 2012, Chopra became the first Bollywood star signed by Creative Artists Agency, in Los Angeles to collaborate with Sam Watters, Matthew Koma, and Jay Sean. Her first single was, “In My City” after which she was also a featured artist on “Erase”, an EDM song produced by the American DJ and producer duo The Chainsmokers. In July 2013, Chopra released her second single “Exotic” featuring American rapper Pitbull, along with its music video. Her third single, a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was released in April 2014. The song’s accompanying video was released around the same time. Chopra’s first song as a playback singer in Bollywood was “Chaoro”, a lullaby from Mary Kom. In 2015, she sang the title song, a duet with Farhan Akhtar, for Dil Dhadakne Do. She recorded a promotional song for Ventilator (2016), making her Marathi language playback singing debut with “Baba”.
Chopra supports various causes related to the girl child through her foundation “The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education”, which works towards providing support to unprivileged children across the country in the areas of Education and Health. She donates ten percent of her earnings to fund the foundation’s operations and pays for educational and medical expenses for seventy children in India, fifty among who are girls. She has worked with UNICEF since 2006, recording public-service announcements and participating in media panel discussions promoting children’s rights and the education of girls. She was appointed as the national UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights on 10 August 2010. In 2009, she shot a documentary for the organization Alert India to increase understanding of leprosy. She modeled for designer Manish Malhotra and Shaina NC’s charity fashion show to raise funds for the Cancer Patients Aid Association. In 2010 she was one of the several celebrities who created promotional messages for Pearls Wave Trust, which campaigns against violence and abuse of women and girls. She also launched the “Save the Girl Child” campaign, which aims to change the attitudes of Indians towards girls.
Chopra is also a supporter of environmental charities and is the brand ambassador for NDTV Greenathon, an initiative to support eco-friendliness and provide solar power to rural villages without electricity supplies. During the third and fourth editions of Greenathon, She adopted up to seven villages to provide with a regular supply of electricity. She adopted a tigress in 2011 and a lioness in 2012 at the Birsa biological park, paying for both animals’ upkeep for a year. To promote organ donation, Chopra pledged to donate her own organs after death. She even donated 5 million to Nanavati hospital to build a cancer ward. The ward, which is named after her late father, was inaugurated by her in 2013. The same year, she provided voice-over in English and Hindi for the documentary film Girl Rising for the organization of the same name. She also lent her voice to a music video of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. The video featuring her along with other singers, including Katy Perry, and The Black Eyed Peas was created as part of a global campaign by UNICEF to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi selected Chopra as one of his nine nominees called “Navratna” in 2014 for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a national cleanliness campaign by the Government of India. In 2015, she voiced People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA’s) life-size robotic elephant named “Ellie”, who visited schools across the United States and Europe to educate kids about elephants and captivity, and to urge people to boycott circuses. Chopra was appointed as the global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 2016 as well.
Apart from social causes, in 2007, Chopra was on the judges’ panel of the Miss India pageant. She also served as a judge at Miss World 2009. She visited Jawan troops in Tenga, in eastern India, for a special episode of the NDTV show Jai Jawan celebrating the 60th anniversary of India’s independence. In 2010, she hosted the third season of the reality show Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi on the Colors channel, taking over from previous host Akshay Kumar. Chopra has participated in a number of world tours and concerts. She took part in a world concert tour, “Temptations 2004″, and performed with other Bollywood actors in 19 stage shows. In 2011, she participated in a concert in Durban, South Africa celebrating 150 years of India–South Africa friendship. In 2012, she performed at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai in the opening ceremony of the fifth season of cricket’s Indian Premier League. The same year, she performed at Dubai Festival City’s Ahlan Bollywood Concert with other Bollywood stars.
Chopra also started writing an opinion column, “The Priyanka Chopra Column”, for the Hindustan Times in 2009. She continued to write sporadically for newspapers. In August 2012 she wrote a column published in The Times of India titled “No woman in Mumbai feels safe any longer”. In a July 2014 article published in The Guardian, she criticized female genital mutilation and child marriage. In December 2014, Chopra wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled “What Jane Austen Knew” about the importance of education for girls. In late 2014, Chopra began writing a monthly column, “Pret-a-Priyanka”, for “Elle.com”. In an article published in January 2015, she expressed her views on diversity and being a global citizen.
Priyanka Chopra is described as a sex symbol and a style icon. Her figure, eyes, lips and exotic looks have been cited by the media as her distinctive physical features. In 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2015, the UK magazine Eastern Eye ranked her first on their “World’s Sexiest Asian Women” list, and she was featured on Verve’s list of most powerful women in 2009 and 2010. She was named “India’s Best-Dressed Woman of the Year” by People in 2011, and Maxim selected her thrice (2011, 2013 and 2016) as “Hottest Girl of the Year”. In 2012, she was declared the most influential Indian on the social-media circuit in a survey conducted by Pinstorm. In 2015, People featured her as one of the “Most Intriguing People of the Year”. In 2016, Time named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” and also featured on the cover of the issue. The same year, she was ranked fourth on AskMen’s Top 99 Women and Forbes named her the World’s eighth-highest-paid TV actress. In 2017, Buzznet named her World’s second “Most Beautiful Women”, only after Beyonce. Chopra was also named one of People magazine’s Most Beautiful Women in the World in 2017. She was declared queen of brand endorsements in India, ranking second in on the list of brand ambassadors of 2008. The following year, she was named “India’s top brand endorser” by the same agency, becoming the first woman to top the endorsement charts in India. The actress became the first Indian actress to feature in a school textbook. Her life is described in a chapter of Roving Families, Shifting Homes, a book taught at Springdales School. The book also includes pictures of her family and the moment she was crowned Miss World in 2000. Chopra is particularly known in the Indian media and film industry for her professionalism and is often referred to as “Piggy Chops”, a nickname given her by co-stars. She is popularly referred to by the media and the film industry as “PeeCee” or simply “PC”. Although she is known for her media-friendly attitude, Chopra is reticent to discuss details of her personal life in public. She has had a Twitter account since January 2009 and is one of the most followed Indian actresses on the platform. In 2015, Chopra appeared in The Huffington Post’s “100 Most Influential Women on Twitter” list, where she was named the most influential Indian woman on Twitter.