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The other Chopra
It is unfair to still describe Parineeti Chopra as Priyanka's little cousin. She shed that tag in her first film Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. And if she still has any problem carving out a distinct identity, Ishaqzaade looks set change all that.
The forthcoming Yashraj film sees her in a radical new avatar. The promos particularly show her as a headstrong, bindaas girl, waving a gun around and displaying a lot of very effortless ebullience. Chulbuli (effervescent) is the only word that can describe her energy on screen.
"We've put our heart and soul into the film. Really! I just hope the audience likes the film. More than me, it's an important film for Arjun (Kapoor). And the film is my only priority at the moment. That's all I can think about, " she says and as an afterthought adds, "I hope Arjun wins all the awards next year in the best debutant category, like I did this year. "
This debutant swept 11 awards this year. "When I started working on Ladies... I'd never thought of awards. It's only when I was nominated after the film released, that the thought crossed my mind, and then I was like, 'Ab toh jeetna hai' (now I have to win), " she says. Initially, she had complained that her home was too small to showcase so many trophies but that shouldn't be a problem anymore - Parineeti is the proud owner of a new sea-facing house. But despite the success, Parineeti comes across as a refreshing change from the taut, glamorous babes who rule Bollywood today. She looks like the average pretty girl down the lane. Yet, you can't miss that spark. And she's not diplomatic. She says of her cousin, her super-fit 'mimi didi' : "I can't even stand next to her, she's that fit. She eats like a bhains (buffalo), but remains thin. And I gain weight just by smelling food, " she jokes. In Ladies. . . , Parineeti had played a 'healthy' Punjabi girl but she appears to have shed quite a bit of weight for Ishaqzaade. "My character in Ladies. . . , Dimple Chaddha, was a healthy girl, and I wasn't asked to lose weight that time. My director told me, I was fine for the character. But after the film, I'd become so lazy. I realised it's just not good for a 22-yearold girl to be so lazy, hence I started being active, and in the process, shed some weight. So it's good na?" she says.
Priyanka is known to be protective about her little cousin Tishu. "When I came into the industry, I had nobody to guide me. But I'm glad Tishu has me to protect her, and guide her, " she said. Parineeti also confesses that she is more comfortable in the industry because she has PC by her side. "She is my support, and it's good to have someone like that, because she is from the same industry, so she obviously understands. " Compared to her very driven, ambitious cousin, Parineeti is rather relaxed about her life as well as her career in Bollywood. She says she loves to sleep, laze around home and follow her other passion - singing. "When I'm not working, sleeping is the only thing I do. If am not sleeping, I am singing. " Apart from the new home Parineeti has splurged on, she has only one big buy - an expensive diamond ring that she sports on her finger. Big, blingy accessories are not really her scene, she maintains, one small, discreet piece of jewellery is all she chooses to wear.
In fact, Parineeti is not your quintessential Bollywood figure. She studied finance and economics in the US before starting on a career in marketing and PR. It was the recession that brought her back. She was working with Yash Raj Films as a PR consultant when the acting bug bit her. "I used to see stars, watch films being made. And slowly, I fell in love with cinema, " she says.
Parineeti confesses to being a huge admirer of Saif Ali Khan. "He is my favourite. I was seven when I first took his autograph. Took two more after that, " she gushes. And apart from him? "All of them! Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, everyone's so good. "
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