It’s with a Bhojpuri project that actress Priyanka Chopra has decided to make her debut as a producer. The film titled, Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi has been co-produced both by Priyanka and her mother, Dr. Madhu Chopra.
In an exclusive conversation with Indian Express.com, Dr Madhu spoke about turning producer, her pride in being Priyanka Chopra’s mother and why she doesn’t ask her superstar daughter to get married.
How did Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi happen?
When we set up a production house, we had an agenda. And Priyanka is someone who always does things that are different from the usual league. We decided to start with a regional film and started looking for films in different languages. We chose this Bhojpuri film because the story and its narrative attracted me.
But why Bhojpuri?
Bhojpuri is my mother tongue. Initially when I told Priyanka about it, she was also apprehensive. She was not very confident if this would be a good first project move. But then we she heard the narration, she was kicked up about it.
Does she have enough time to devote to regional films today?
She has great conviction in herself. When she focuses on something, she sticks to it and sees it till the very end. She is glued in all details about the film.
Priyanka has done our country proud with her achievements both in India and abroad. How do you feel as her mother?
I feel I am very blessed. When a child remains true to her roots, she is bound to be strong and successful. It’s important for your roots to be strong. Parents are also responsible in taking care of their children, their character, education and career building. Parents should be involved in all these aspects of their kids.
Priyanka’s childhood years in USA were marred by racial taunts and discrimination. Today she has become India’s pride in the West. Don’t you think life has come a full circle for her and she stands redeemed now?
Life has come more than a full circle for her today. She has made Indians a respectable entity There is Indianness in her behaviour, intelligence and style of talking. She has not become a firang. She has become a subject for pride for Indians, and Indians a subject of pride for all others.
Why do you think she has succeeded in a big way where not many others have?
She is a confident girl and not scared of anything. She has courage, conviction and if she sets her sight on something, she will stay focused and make it happen no matter what.
As a mother, how do you react to her success?
I am her biggest fan. I went with the Time magazine and asked her to autograph it for me. At the same time, I am also her biggest critic.
Were you a strict mother to Priyanka while she was growing up?
I was very strict. Today while I am proud of my daughter, I can’t say that it’s only because of me that she is what she is today. Other members of our family like her maasi and bua have also been equally responsible in her upbringing and their values have had an effect on her. As a mother, I feel happy today and what I have realised is that if a child gels well with the entire family, it boosts his or her confidence as they know there are people standing firmly behind them.
Were you and Dr. Ashok apprehensive when Priyanka decided to join the glamour world?
We had given her two years. She was never keen about films. After winning Miss World, people started approaching her with projects. She was never too keen as she wanted to study instead. We told her give yourself two years. If you have achieved so much in a short time, take it as a holiday and see how it goes. And she achieved more in those two years. Nothing in her life has been planned. Opportunities came her way, she took up those and enhanced them in to a winning proposition.
Is marriage on cards for Priyanka. Do you talk to her about it?
No. There was a time when I did but not anymore. Today, I see many marriages are falling apart. People don’t have the tolerance to give each other and their relationship so much time and to see it nurture. So when Priyanka reaches that stage when she has the time to nurture her relationship and give it the attention it needs and demands, she will get married. It’s not like you have reached a certain age and now it is time to get married. That’s a wrong basis for marriage.
So when will Priyanka reach that stage?
That is for her to decide and whenever she is ready for it, she will get married.
But doesn’t the lovely marriage that you and Dr. Ashok shared inspire Priyanka?
It does. So she is looking for a relationship like she saw in us. For that you need to have lot of time to give attention to such a relationship.
Would you want your future son-in-law to be an industry guy?
Vision broad ho jayega. Bahar ki cheezein bhi dikhayi dene lagegi (smiles).
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