Priyanka faced sexual abuse in Bollywood? Tales of her valour and more...

New Delhi, Dec 27: Priyanka Chopra is one actor who has actually matured and grown in real sense with an international exposure. SHe comes across as a more composed and calmer person. At a recent seminar organised by Penguin she delivered the Penguin Annual Lecture on “Breaking The Glass Ceiling: Chasing a dream” at the 11th edition of the event.

While fireflies are all around in the showbiz, for all reasons, right and wrong, Priyanka chose to give a twist to the sexual harassment issue. Candidly she confessed that  she has faced abuse of power in her professional life.

Known for her candid and frank approach towards life, she said that there were occasions when she was pushed out of the films because of the girlfriends of the actor or the producer. 

Said a fearless Ms Chopra, “I am very fierce. People are a little bit scared of me. When I walk into a room, I make sure that no one can... Yes, I have had situations when I have been thrown out of films because someone else was recommended... A girlfriend was recommended after I was signed for a movie. So, that’s an abuse of power... Girlfriend of the hero or girlfriend of the director.

“I couldn’t do anything about it. I was removed last minute from many such situations because I never catered to the whims and fancies of powerful men. I only cater to my colleagues and friends who give me respect.

“I was treated in a different way because I commanded that, and it was because I had the strength and support of my family,” said the 35-year-old actress, who has found popularity in Hollywood.

She said that it's not just women but men also who face casting couch.

Taking pride of the Indian way of life and customs she said, “Different countries have different cultural boundaries. Meryl Streep can stand up and talk against the President over there (in US). They can sell anti-Trump memorabilia outside his house. It’s just a different way we live in our nation and we need to respect it.”

The actor said one had to fight for one's dreams as no one else would do so. "Today I know my path is mine, the failures, successes mine. Don't settle on your dreams."  The National Award-winning actor said she hates failures but it is what one does afterwards that counts. "When I fail in something that I do with all of my heart and mind, I don't wallow in self-pity, I roll myself in it. It's not a pretty sight. But then I cry a little, I get up and dust myself off and dive straight back again as the only way to push failure aside is to move ahead. Not ignore it, analyse it."  For those who don't allow themselves to dream beyond their imagination, her advice is to "loosen up, let your dreams fly". The actor said one has to recognise opportunities and then give one's best shot. "There was never a plan. The universe was guiding me through it, all I had to do was make sure that I worked so hard that I squeezed every drop out of these opportunities. "No matter where you are, you have never arrived enough to explore opportunities. There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, ladies listen to me."  She said people in the Hindi film industry had raised eyebrows when she played an antagonist in "Aitraaz" and when she chose to do a women-centric film like "Fashion" early in her career. Priyanka said she knew her move to Hollywood would be "career suicide" if it did not work but that did not stop her. "People have written me off several times in my career... I went to do 'Quantico', when I was at the peak in my career here. The risks were huge, the stakes were high and the repercussions could have been, to say the least, career ending. "But it was all worth it as I backed those risks with my 100 per cent.

News24Bureau with Agencies