Priyanka Chopra has been making headlines for her powerful revelations on the latest episode of the Armchair Expert podcast. In a detailed chat with actor-filmmaker Dax Shepard, the actress shared details about her life, career, and choices – both personal and professional. While speaking about her early career in Bollywood, Priyanka Chopra touched upon how “colourism was normalised” in the industry and how it impacted some of her professional endeavours. In particular, the star spoke about her appearance in advertisements for fairness creams and shared that her skin tone had been lightened in several movies. Priyanka Chopra also went on to describe the advertisements that promised young girls a bright future only if they had lighter skin tone as extremely “damaging.”
Sharing her experience, Priyanka Chopra said: “I remember when I joined movies, I was considered dusky, written as the dusky actress and I was like ‘What is dusky? What does it mean?’. Yet, I did a commercial because you are doing a beauty brand. A beauty brand is a really big part of an actress’ trajectory. And all the beauty brands were selling those creams,” referring to fairness creams.
Speaking about the impact of such advertisements, Priyanka Chopra added, “The commercial was so damaging. I am a darker-skinned girl and this guy comes in and I’m selling flowers and he comes in and he doesn’t even look at me. I start using this cream and I get a job, I get the guy, all my dreams come true and it was like the mid-2000s.”
Priyanka Chopra explained that when she joined films, actresses with lighter skin tone had an advantage. “When I joined the movie business, if you were fair you were guaranteed some form of success or casting but if you were darker, I’m not even that dark, for darker girls it was, ‘let’s lighten you up,’” she shared. In particular, she recalled an incident where she was required to play a woman whose skin was “fair as milk”. “I was lightened up in many movies. Through make-up and then blasting lighting. There was a song which I still remember. It was called Chitti Dudh Kudi which means a girl who is as white as milk and I ain’t that but I was playing her and I was really lightened up in the movie,” she said about the song from the film Kismat starring the actress alongside Bobby Deol.
Here are a few images of Priyanka Chopra from the recording session of the podcast, shared on the official Instagram handle of Armchair Expert.
In the same interview, Priyanka Chopra also revealed the reason behind her deciding to concentrate on her career in Hollywood over Bollywood. The actress said that she was “being pushed into a corner in the industry (Bollywood).” She added, “I had people not casting me, I had beef with people, I am not good at playing that game so I kind of was tired of the politics and I said I needed a break.”
On the work front, Priyanka Chopra will be seen next in the film Love Again and the web series Citadel. In Bollywood, she will be seen in Jee Le Zaraa.