Fresh from her Miss World victory, Priyanka Chopra set foot in Bollywood in 2003 with Raj Kanwar’s Andaaz. In an old video that has resurfaced online, she opens up about her inexperience and being yelled at on the sets for not getting the choreography right even after more than 40 takes.
Priyanka said that she was scolded while shooting for a romantic song with Akshay Kumar in South Africa. “That was one of the first songs I shot and there were multiple things I had to achieve at that point. Once the 40-something-th take had happened and I didn’t get it right… I remember Raju Khan was the choreographer, he is Saroj (Khan) ji’s son. He threw his mic down and said, ‘Just because you’re Miss World, you think you can become an actress? Go learn how to dance and then come back and perform,’” she said.
Twinkle Khanna having a baby then turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Priyanka. The shoot was temporarily halted and she got a chance to prepare herself better.
“Luckily, Akshay’s wife went into labour at that point so the schedule was cut short and we came back to India. I remember going to Pandit Veeru Krishnan’s class and started learning kathak. I did about six hours every single day and then when I went back, for the next schedule, I knew so much more,” she said.
The incident taught Priyanka the importance of preparation. She said, “Even if you don’t know something, if you have the ambition to be somewhere, if you prepare yourself, you have the ability to be better than everyone else.”
Priyanka has come a long way since her debut film and has won a number of accolades, including the National Award and multiple Filmfare Awards. She was also honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2016.
Priyanka was last seen on the big screen in Shonali Bose’s The Sky Is Pink, which was based on the life of teenage author and motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary, who succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis in 2015.