Priyanka Chopra debuted in Bollywood in 2003 with Hero: Love Story of a Spy which also starred Sunny Deol and Preity Zinta. Today, she has become an international superstar. After appearing as the lead in the American TV series Quantico, she has established herself as a talented actor in the West too.
According to Pinkvilla, an upcoming biography on Chopra, titled Priyanka Chopra: The Dark Horse, reveals that she lost out on many roles before bagging her first Bollywood project. One such film was Vijay Galani’s untitled film which was to be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar and co-star Bobby Deol. The film ended up being shelved.
At the celebration of the first shoot of the film, Chopra’s then manager Prakash Jaju convinced producer Galani to meet her in her makeup van. Galani reveals in the book, “Priyanka had just had some nasal surgery done in London where the bridge of her nose had collapsed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had a little bit of shooting here in Film City and then a long schedule planned in London. How could we shoot with the heroine’s nose looking the way it did?”
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Galani recounts that Chopra was unfazed by it and remained confident that her nose would heal in under a month’s time, well before they planned to shoot in London. However, a month passed and her nose was still a problem. Deol seemed to be uncomfortable with Priyanka’s look and opted out of the film too. Mahesh Manjrekar’s market value too crashed owing to a series of box office flops. Galani was forced to shelve the film.
A makeup artist revealed that around this time Chopra lost out on seven to eight films for the same reason. Director Anil Sharma was also planning to replace her in Hero: Love Story of a Spy. Only after Jaju pleaded with him did Sharma agree to sign her as the second lead.
However, Sharma refuted these claims. "That's a fake story. When I signed her for Hero, I didn't have a script ready. We were only sure that Sunny Deol would play the title role, nothing else was finalized," he clarified.
After signing Chopra, the film-maker left for the states and Canada for around three to four months. Upon his return he was greeted with rumours that Chopra had gotten her lips done. He was quoted to have said, “When I came back and started working on the script, I began to hear that she’d had some surgery done, that she wanted pouting lips like Julia Roberts.”
When the Mary Kom star and her mother Madhu Chopra came to meet Sharma on his return, the director was furious. They explained to him that the surgery would take six to seven months to heal and since she had been dropped from other films, they had decided to return to Barielly.
“I was also emotionally moved. So I told them not to return to Bareilly right away. I told them that I’d do a screen test with her," said Sharma, adding he found Chopra to be determined and was impressed by her performance.
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“I knew she’d do very well. Par kitni door kaun jata hai yeh toh Ishwar hi bata sakta hai (But how far a person will go is something only God can tell you). By God’s grace, her choice of films also turned out well for her,” he concluded.
Priyanka will star alongside Salman Khan in the upcoming Bollywood film Bharat, set to release on Eid 2019.
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