In the year 2000, 17-year-old Priyanka Chopra made the country proud by winning the coveted Miss World crown. This victory opened up the floodgate of opportunities from the film industry for her. After 18 years, the actor has made a name for herself, in not just Bollywood, but Hollywood as well. However, everything was not as easy as it seems, for this international celebrity. Priyanka has faced her share of struggles in this journey to stardom.
Aseem Chhabra's book, Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star, throws light on one such incident. One of the mentors of the pageant, Pradeep Guha, recalls how one jury member thought Priyanka was "too dark". He said, “Not everybody in the jury was initially in favour of her. One person mentioned she's too dark.” Pradeep added, “I said, 'Yaar come on -- look at South American girls. They keep winning and some of them are pretty dark as are all the girls from Africa. So, I said, 'What are you talking about?' I was always very certain about her and, as I said, this woman never made a mistake twice.”
In the book, Pradeep mentions how she improved day by day and was completely focused. He said, “I think she needed a little more confidence. I think she wasn't quite sure, initially, whether this was the thing she wanted to do. She came in a bit tentatively. By the time the contest started, she seemed a lot more collected and definitely more confident of herself.”
Now, 18 years later, PeeCee is one of the biggest stars in the world, and is proof that skin colour and success don't go hand in hand.