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Priyanka Chopra on Aseem Merchant’s film: It upsets me that people are glorifying painful part of my life

Priyanka Chopra talks about Aseem Merchant making a biopic on the early days of her career.

Written by Geety Sahgal | Mumbai | Updated: May 17, 2014 11:23 am
Priyanka Chopra talks about Aseem Merchant making a biopic on the early days of her career. Priyanka Chopra talks about Aseem Merchant making a biopic on the early days of her career.

After a fantabulous run at the movies, Priyanka Chopra is setting her career to a new tune. With her third single, I can’t make you love me, the actor talks about scaling new heights and her love for music…

The Priyanka effect was evident as Priyanka Chopra held the audience spell-bound at a snazzy night club in Mumbai, as she belted out her latest single, I can’t make you love me.

Earlier, the actor-songstress had created ripples with her first single In My City and followed it later with Exotic. With her third single, I can’t make…Chopra has become music’s most exciting new muse, not only in India, but also on the international scene. If the actressturned-singer, looking cool in fashion designer Ami Patel’s crop top with a black sheer skirt, accessorised with gold and black bracelets, was nervous, she did not show it.

“I wanted two of my singles to come out before I started doing live shows. I had to try my hand at this, but didn’t know if I could do it. And it was right to perform first in Mumbai, because of the love and support I have got from this city. In fact, I try to celebrate my music whenever possible in India,” said Chopra as she readied herself for her very first stage performance.

Exuding energy and confidence, Chopra set the tempo for the evening as she grooved to the racy beat, like a true pop singer, and wowed everyone, especially the sceptical media who was stunned into silence. So, when one pesky journalist asked her to sing the song unplugged without the music, husked Chopra, “Are you testing me?” She nevertheless picked up the gauntlet to silence the doubting Thomases and sang the moving break-up song with verve, once again.

Most of us sang along with her, when she crooned her first single In My City, that she had collaborated with The dance- pop track was first released exclusively on Nokia Music Store India, followed by copies of the single, which sold around 130,000 copies in its first week!

Exotic, her second, and the lead single of Chopra’s untitled debut album was selected as the theme song for Guinness International Champion Cup in 2013. Written by Pitbull and Chopra, it became the number one song on iTunes India. It debuted at number 16 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic songs and number 11 on Dance/electronic digital songs chart.

Pretty extraordinary for someone who has never taken any singing lessons! Going solo for, I can’t make you love me, however, has her exceptionally excited.

Chopra said in a clipping of the making of the song, “This is the first time that there is no
guest or collaborator and that makes it very, very exciting. I don’t know whether people will like it, or whether it works or not, it was still one of the most enriching experiences making it, and I will always remember it.”

The song is a dance version of American singer Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 classic, and the actress who remembers singing it as a kid, says this was the primary reason she wanted to sing. Besides, she related to it like every girl who says, ‘I will survive’ after a failed relationship and it seemed appropriate to her that her first solo single should be this video. And she worked so hard on it, it was shot in one day!

“Actually we had a couple of options regarding which song should be my solo, but when I heard the EDM (electronic dance music) version of I can’t make you love me, I knew that this was it. When you have heartbreaks there’s that break-up gaana and this is one of those songs which says that I am in pain,
but I will survive. Girls cry and mope over a broken relationship more than boys. I want the song to be about freedom and moving on and empowering girls with the thought that some relationships work while some don’t, and it’s not all over, as they think. And me putting down the guy’s (actor Milo Ventimiglia) photo in the end was the favourite part of the video,” she chuckled.

Talking about Milo who acts as her partner in the video, she says that she knew the actor through a friend. “We wanted to cast an actor and not a model, as I wanted someone to act out the various situations that were occurring in their lives. I had to teach Milo the importance of Holi (which is shown in the video) and we had a good time throwing coloured chalk on everyone,” she recalls.

Chopra who has reinvented herself after making a mark in the world of cinema, is now creating waves in the world of music. With both parents avid connoisseurs of music— Indian and Western, Chopra grew up in a conducive atmosphere that nurtured the singer in her .

“My earliest memory was being mesmerised watching my dad perform on stage. Today, music is something I like discovering on my own. But whether it’s a Hindi film song, or Western music, I like a little bit of an amalgamation of the East and West. And with my album, I am getting incredible opportunities to work with amazing people,” she says, adding that the music she likes making, is different from the music she likes listening to.

Regarding partnering with Indian producers for her album, she says that there were no plans on that for this one. “We do have some more plans, but it’s not something that I can talk about right now. In Bollywood, I hope to sing some songs in a few of my future films. But whatever be the fate of my movies or my songs, my endeavour is to always push the envelope. I have yet to decide what I will be doing next after this album…whether I will become a musician.”

Touch on the topic of actor-turned-producer Aseem Merchant making a biopic on the early days of her career when she was a model, and her legal battle with her ex-manager Prakash Jaju, she says she does not mind if there is a biopic made on her life, but it should be made at the right time.

“I don’t think I have become so big that people would make a film on me. There are a lot of things that I still need to achieve. Maybe when I turn 40, people can decide to make a film, because I am sure I will achieve whatever I want to by that age,” she said.

Priyanka, who has just wrapped up the shooting of a biopic on ace Indian boxer Mary Kom continued. “I am doing a biopic on Mary Kom’s life and she was present for every scene that I shot. She told me the emotions she felt during a particular situation, so it would be extremely flattering for me if someone made a film on my life. But this particular issue, makes me very angry because I know as a woman, what my family and I went through. What upsets me is that people are glorifying something which was such a painful part of my life as a girl. It is extremely disturbing. I am very disappointed in the people who are glorifying it,” she says with finality.

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