Priyanka Chopra, who has carved out a niche for herself in western showbiz through her lead role in American TV series 'Quantico', says she said 'yes' to the show to break the stereotypical image that many have about Indian cinema and actors abroad.
Priyanka Chopra. Pic/Santa Banta
Asked whether the stereotypical image of Indian actors is breaking in Hollywood, Priyanka told IANS: "That's what I did in 'Quantico'. Did you see me doing the stereotype of Indian part in that, even in 'Baywatch' I am not. I will never be the stereotype of what people think India should be. I feel that we can be anything.
"Today India is the youngest country in the world and our youth is empowered with being able to do and be anything they want in any part of the world. So we should not be told that you can't do something."
Priyanka questioned those who categorise actors on their ethnicity.
She said: "Why is it not cool to be an Indian? Why can't an Indian girl who is from Indian descent be an FBI girl who kicks a**? So I was very clear about that.
"I went to school in US and I saw the stereotype, not just US but the western world has for Hindi cinema, even today there is no one to look like us. So for me it was very important.
Priyanka said that when American broadcasting company ABC offered her "Quantico", the only condition that she put in front of them is to not offer her any supportive role.
"When ABC came to me, that was the very first thing that I told them that I am a lead actor, that's all I want to do. So if you have something like that for me then great," the 'Bajirao Mastani' star, who was conferred with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, earlier this week, said.
"I read 26 scripts, they just signed me as a talent because they wanted to work with me. Then I told them that I don't want to do anything which is stereotype of how you see. Alex was not written for an Indian girl but American girl," Priyanka said.
She added that she later convinced the producers of the show to make certain changes in the story.
"I didn't want them to change name or anything. In fact I added Om, I added mother being an Indian or lots of cultural thing which made Alex (Parrish) very rich as a character...it made her interesting . I don't think art should have barriers of geography , language , colour or creed or anything. Art is art," Priyanka said.