It’s not every day we’re blessed with not one but two Bollywood actors making a solid name for themselves in the world. Seriously, kudos to Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone for not only successfully winning hearts of their audiences in India but taking their ambitions and talent global. Unfortunately for the two leading actresses, being compared to one another due to their career trajectory and skills has now become common.
Stepping into mainstream Hollywood is not a new thing for Bollywood actors. Let’s refresh your memory all the way to Satyajit Ray and his well-earned critical acclaim in the West. Since then, whether it’s Dev Patel and Freida Pinto or Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher or Om Puri, stars from the Hindi film industry have most definitely made it to American screens. However, no one ventured into the mainstream like Chopra did in 2015.
She wasn’t just playing your stereotypical South Asian sidekick. Chopra was the lead of her show, “Quantico,” currently going into production for the third season. She plays Alex Parrish, a badass woman on a mission. It didn’t take her too long to sign her first big Hollywood movie. In “Baywatch,” she played villainess Victoria Leeds. It’s been only two years for her in Hollywood but she’s become the sweetheart of American media. And she’s not the only one.
Deepika Padukone kind of broke the Indian internet when she posted photos on her Instagram of herself and Vin Diesel, letting the world know she’s going to be acting opposite him in the famous action franchise, “xXx.” She was also playing a kickass character, Serene Unger, in the third film of the series. It released in January 2017 and while reviews for the film might be mixed, the response to Padukone here was pretty damn phenomenal. She’s had her fair share of media appearances here, too, most notably when she looked stunning at this year’s Met Gala.
Two reigning Bollywood divas successfully made their mark in the United States and it’s only just the beginning. They’re both on their own journeys, building their career trajectories one great role at a time in India and the U.S. It’s incomprehensible, then, that media and a ton of people are hell bent on comparing them and pitting them against one another? Grr. Stop being the stereotyping idiots and appreciate what these two ladies are doing for not only themselves but also for the representation of South Asians.
Chopra and Padukone are often being compared because of their acting skills, as well, which is fine and dandy because we do that to actors all over. To pit them against each other as if it’s a race only because they’re both from India and powering through in American media is the problem. Guess what, folks, two actresses actually can be amazing at the same time. It’s about time we get used to it.
That’s why it’s not our place to point out if one of them has the right amount of accent or if they’re abandoning their roots by moving away from Indian cinema.
Chopra and Padukone entered Bollywood at different times and despite being industry outsiders, they’ve really built a great career for themselves. Both of them started out a bit rough and have had their fair share of bad movies. To match up, they’ve had an equally good or even better number of brilliant movies. Is it really surprising that they’re venturing out to do more.
Plus, both of their approaches seem to be very different. Chopra is clearly here to stay. Besides currently shooting for season 3 of “Quantico,” the actress will next appear in two Hollywood romantic comedies. In “A Kid Like Jake,” she’ll play a single mother and stars opposite Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer. In “Isn’t it Romantic?” she’ll be seen opposite Liam Hemsworth, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine. At the same time, her production company has been producing quality content in Indian regional languages. She’s signed on to play Kalpana Chawla in her biopic.
To be honest, all of this sounds praiseworthy. Yet, most people pick on her for the smallest things like her accent, for example. You guys, she had to adapt in order to fit into her character. Actors do it all the freakin’ time. Padukone’s approach was different in”xXx.” She didn’t have a stringent American accent even though she played a character called Serena Unger. They never divulged her backstory or where she’s from.
Her upcoming Bollywood film, “Padmavati,” see’s her playing a fierce ruler. After that, she’s going to play a gangster who plotted to assassinate Dawood Ibrahim in the 80’s, and she will reprise her role in the next “xXx” movie as well. This time, let’s aim to praise her acting and not debate about things that don’t really matter.
There’s always going to be competition in any film industry. Which actress doesn’t want to be the reigning queen, after all, whether it’s Bollywood or Hollywood? However, let’s just appreciate the guts and the prowess it takes to start over when you move out of your comfort zone into something new. Kudos to Chopra and Padukone for doing what they do best and making us proud!