Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has become an international superstar. After appearing as a lead in the American TV series Quantico, she managed to bag a couple of Hollywood films too. However, despite her recognition in Hollywood, Priyanka still chooses to act in Bollywood films.
Priyanka made her debut in Bollywood with Sunny Deol-Preity Zinta starrer Hero: Love story of a spy but the actress also lost out on many roles. Journalist Bharathi S. Pradhan has revealed some details about Priyanka's journey in her book, Priyanka Chopra: The Dark Horse published by Om Books International.
One of the films that got shelved was Vijay Galani's untitled film, in which Priyanka was paired with the actor Bobby Deol. The film was to be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. At the mahurat of the film, Priyanka's manager Prakash Jaju had requested Galani to meet her in the makeup van. In the book, Galani reveals, "She'd 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 along schedule planned in London. How could we shoot with the heroine's nose looking the way it did?"
He recalls that Priyanka Chopra was not upset by it and was confident that her nose would be fine in a month's time, before the London schedule of the film.
A month had passed and Priyanka's nose was still not okay. Bobby Deol seemed to be uncomfortable with Priyanka's look and was ready to return the signing amount. Director Mahesh Manjrekar's value in the market had dropped due to several flops at the box-office. Galani had to shelve the film.
Around this time, as revealed by a make-up artist in the book, Priyanka had lost out on 7-8 films due to her nose surgery. Director Anil Sharma had been planning to replace Priyanka from his film. But, after much pleading by Prakash Jaju, he considered Priyanka for the role of the second lead in The Hero. She incidentally debuted with Bobby Deol's brother Sunny Deol.
After the film was signed by Priyanka as a second lead, Anil had gone to the US and Canada for a couple of months. He was quoted in the book saying, "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."
The editor of publication then informed the director that Priyanka had lost out on 3-4 films and showed a picture of the actress in a swimsuit coming out of the pool. Recalling the moment, Anil had said, "I told him, 'This is not Priyanka, this is someone else. This girl is really awful looking while Priyanka is a pretty girl with a beautiful smile.' He insisted that the girl in the photograph was Priyanka. I was shocked, so I called her and she came to meet me with her mother."
When Priyanka and her mother Madhu Chopra met Anil, he was furious with the actress due to her surgery. The mother-daughter duo tried to calm him down by saying that the wound will take 6-7 months to heal. They had planned on returning home since Priyanka had lost out on films.
"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. I called Pandhari dada (veteran makeup man), sent for cinematographer Kabir Lalji, decided on her look with short hair and took a screen test," Sharma revealed in the book.
"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.