Playing badass women in both hemispheres
Chopra has taken on a number of boundary-pushing roles throughout her Bollywood career, from female boxer Mary Kom to autistic woman Jhilmil in Barfi!. However, she notes that Hindi film has been slower to introduce diverse roles for women, which is why she is particularly excited to play the ass-kicking Alex in Quantico, a show that is positively Shonda-esque in its commitment to onscreen diversity.
"In Hindi films, women are put into a box a lot of the times, but it’s not really a diversity thing, because there are mostly Indian people in Indian movies," Chopra explains. "But America is made up of people from all over the world. It’s great that America is pushing for the diversity it has, because the girl next door doesn’t look like one person anymore. She looks different, she can be anyone. I play a half Indian, half Caucasian girl, and I get to bring my Indian culture in and yet my culture doesn’t define my part, which I love. I get to be an unapologetic badass modern-day girl."
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Anna Silman is a staff writer at Thrillist and an alum of Salon and Vulture. She wants to be Priyanka Chopra when she grows up. Find her on Twitter @annaesilman.