Priyanka Chopra, better known as Pee Cee, is neither an unfamiliar face nor name to many. The 38-year-old who shot to fame when she was crowned Miss World in 2000, is not only a Bollywood star but an international one, as well. And while her life may seem like a bed of roses, the journey to the top was thorny.
Winning the title of Miss World at the age of 18, Pee Cee, who had initially inspired to study aeronautical engineering, decided to enter the Indian film industry instead. While her debut into the film industry was with the Tamil film Thamizhan, her Bollywood debut was with the film The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. Her breakout role was the 2004 thriller Aitraaz, wherein she played a femme fatale.
The actress soon went on to leave her mark in movies such as Fashion, Dostana, Kaminey, Mary Kom, Bajirao Mastani and in the recent The Sky is Pink.
Controversy’s child, she has handled each one with grace, be it that of a secret marriage when she was spotted donning what looked like a mangalsutra bracelet and termination of her contract with Nirav Modi’s jewellery brand to her picture for Assam tourism and her “bare-legged meeting” with PM Modi.
While link-ups between stars are common, the actress who has starred opposite actors such as Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan, was rumoured to have been in relationships with Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor and even Hollywood actor, Gerard Butler. However, a link-up that is said to have hit her hard and left her reeling, is the one of her and Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). While SRK denied the rumours and insisted that his closeness to Pee Cee was “good friendship”, the paparazzi who spotted them at late night outings, however, begged to differ. It is rumoured that their relationship had caused rifts in the marriage between SRK and his wife Gauri. It is even said that Gauri, forbade SRK from ever working with Priyanka.
A true fighter, the National Award winner for Best Actress fought Salman’s unofficial ban from his films after she refused to do one of his family films, and also SRK’s (read Gauri) inner circle boycott, by reinventing her career by going westward. Quantico, an ABC thriller series, was a stepping stone of sorts for her in the West. Priyanka, who played the American hero Alex Parrish, became a household name in the US through the series. She was also the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series.
The actress set social media on fire when she began dating and later marrying musician and former member of the Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas. She was trolled for the age gap between them: Priyanka was 36, while Nick was 26. There was a great deal of chatter about their whirlwind romance and their multi-day wedding.
The actress, who is also a successful singer and has three singles under her belt, is vocal about gender equality, the gender pay gap and feminism. She has also been working with UNICEF since 2006.
Pee Cee is back in the news with her announcement of the release of her debut book on February 9, 2021. A memoir, titled Unfinished. Sharing her experience of writing the book, the actress during an interview said, “Ironically, I named this memoir years before I started writing it. Having been a public person now for 20 years, with so much life to live and a long list of things to check off my list personally and professionally, I am very much #Unfinished. BUT the funny thing about writing a memoir is that it forces you to look at things differently, reconciling so many things you thought you had put to bed. In doing so I’ve realised that being “unfinished” has a deeper meaning for me, and has in fact been one of the most common threads of my life.”
Priyanka on Friday shared short videos from the recording session of the audiobook for her memoir. It was in June 2018 that the actor first announced of making her memoir, and said that "It gives you an indescribable sense of accomplishment when you tick off something from your bucket list".
While, her memoir traces the collection of personal essays, stories and observations by Priyanka as an actor, producer, singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, one wonders if it will contain juicy details about the controversies she has courted.
Meanwhile, Kareena Khan Kapoor, who took a dig at Pee Cee’s accent on filmmaker Karan Johar’s talk show, for which Pee Cee gave a befitting reply, recently announced that she has written a book on her maternity experience. Titled Kareena Kapoor’s Pregnancy Bible, it will be released by Juggernaut Books. This is Kareena's second book. Her first was The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva.