This interview was originally published in Radio Times magazine.


This week's guest on the Radio Times Podcast is Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Known for her extensive list of roles in Bollywood films, Chopra Jonas is arguably one of the most famous women in the world.

One of the leads in Prime Video's upcoming spy thriller Citadel, Chopra Jonas stars alongside Richard Madden, Stanley Tucci and Lesley Manville in this tale of espionage from the Russo brothers.

In the podcast episode, she discusses representation on screen, her journey to self acceptance and the instability of acting.

Plus, they discuss Citadel and what it was like working with Madden and Tucci, as well as what inspired her to make the move from Bollywood to Hollywood.

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What’s the view from your sofa?

I’m in a guest room at the moment with big, rain-stained windows – [classic] British weather. I respond well to it. I like a hot cup of coffee and to have a great conversation with you while it spits outside.

Safe from the rain, what do you enjoy cosying up with and watching?

We [with her husband, Nick Jonas] just started the last season of Succession – I love that show. The writing is amazing and the performances are so cool. We went on a Tom Cruise bender the other month where we watched all his movies, followed by an Emily Blunt bender.

Who controls the remote in your house?

My husband! The biggest and only problem we have is that he likes to watch TV on a couch, and I like to watch TV in bed. There are two kinds of people – those who can eat snacks in bed and those who can’t.

Did you watch a lot of TV growing up?

As a teenager I lived in America with my aunt and uncle – my parents were back in India. I was allowed to watch an hour of TV and I would always choose Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had no idea I would eventually work in TV or in the movies.

Do you think, in part, that was due to a lack of on-screen representation?

I never expected to see someone that looked like me on TV. The bar was so low. We had Hindi movies in India, and I thought, “Oh, that’s ours and this is theirs.” Even as a child that distinction was clear. When I came to America, I started looking for my identity in English language entertainment because I saw a lot of people that looked like me in the country consuming it.

There are so many Indians, so many people from other countries, so many immigrants that come from all over the world. American entertainment was devoid of representing the melting pot of its population. With the explosion of the internet and streaming services, people from different countries can watch entertainment made from different parts of the world. I couldn’t have imagined that when I first joined the industry.

In 2015 you began starring in Quantico and became the first South Asian actor to headline an American drama series. What inspired your move from Bollywood to Hollywood?

Fate and destiny are such huge movers in my life. I was pushed in the direction of the States because I was doing music there. I was travelling back and forth, doing movies in India, not even thinking about the jet lag, getting on a flight every two days travelling across the world to make both careers work. My manager suggested I started looking for acting work in the US – that’s how it happened.

You’re now one of the most famous actors in the world — did you ever doubt you would succeed?

My filmography is almost 70 movies; I used to do four movies a year because I didn’t want to lose an opportunity. I thought I’d wake up one morning and it would be taken away from me. For actors, your job is always unstable. To have stability you need to be able to create credibility with your work and to consistently deliver. That takes time!

Your most recent series, Citadel, is an action thriller co-starring Richard Madden. What sets it apart from other espionage dramas?

It’s a very ambitious undertaking. Because of the show’s scale, it took a year and a half to film six episodes. It was a lot of work physically, but also emotionally.

My character is complex – when you’re a spy, you’re a liar. Everyone has two faces. That makes for a lot of tension between people. Also, to have partners like Richard Madden and Stanley Tucci – that’s what makes this such a good watch. Coming on to set, fun was not something we looked for. We were like soldiers!

Citadel will be available to stream on Prime Video from 23rd April. Try Amazon Prime Video for free for 30 days.

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