“I can’t go back and change what I did, but I can apologise,” writes Priyanka Chopra Jonas in Unfinished about being part of fairness cream ads
Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas, whose book ‘Unfinished’ was released on February 9, 2021, shared her thoughts in an interview with an international publication on Wednesday about her memoir and other experiences from her life.
Dana, Priyanka’s publicist in the US and Tory, her book publicist accompanied the actor during the interview over Zoom.
Talking about how she has a lot of “unfinished business” to look into despite having made so many achievements, the actor said, “In many ways, at 38 years old, I have barely started. I’m an entertainer, and that bifurcates into being an actor, producer, author, entrepreneur. And I dabble in tech. I would say I’m a multi-hyphenate, professionally.”
Priyanka is a Bollywood and Hollywood actor, producer for Indian and American films, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and an investor in dating app Bumble, where women make the first move. She also started the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education to support disadvantaged children in India and launched a vegan haircare range called ‘Anomaly’.
Talking about her book release, Priyanka appeared to be nervous about the fact that her deeply personal memoir ‘Unfinished’ had spoken about her most vulnerable times for the world to now know about. “This is not a memoir of: ‘Here is me and my laurels and achievements.’ This book is me dissecting my failures, my vulnerabilities, my emotions, the times I went back to my room and cried on my pillow. That surprised me. I never discuss this stuff. I don’t even discuss it with my family and here I am discussing it with the world, so I’m terrified.”
She immediately laughed it off and said, “It’s all just so personal. It’s shocking to me. Ah, I’m going to pull it back!”
Priyanka’s book talks about a variety of issues she faced as a child in the US and as an actor in Bollywood and Hollywood, including what it was like to live life in the public eye, the difficulties she faced in the film industry, including racism and sexism, throughout her life.
She had also mentioned one of her experiences with a director in the Hindi movie industry, where he had told her that female actors were “10 for a rupee” and all that mattered was a shot of her in underwear.
With the topic of racism coming up, she was asked by the interviewer whether she felt beauty contests were demeaning. “What pageants stand for in general, yes, I agree that women shouldn’t be judged purely on their looks. But Miss World was very clear about beauty with a purpose. It was a lot about your opinions, how you speak, how you can connect with people, your compassion. All those things were at the fore instead of tweezing your eyebrows or wearing your best gown,” media sources quoted her as saying.
Priyanka had also mentioned in Unfinished that one of the biggest “missteps” in her career was acting in advertisements for fairness creams. “I can’t go back and change what I did, but I can apologise, and I do so sincerely,” she had written.
Talking about her decision to move to Hollywood from Bollywood, the actor said, “It was terrifying, because I felt a lot of pressure with the chatter that I would read online about failing. I didn’t really have a precedent of somebody else. There’s a fear of falling on your face and eating dirt, but there’s also the exhilaration of the win if it happens.”
The story is also a journal of her most intimate moments, including her private battles with lack of confidence and self-doubt.
In the book, she had also spoken about the love she had for her family, who had made sacrifices for her and supported her for her career choices. Furthermore, the actor shared her thoughts about the depression she went into after the death of her father.
However, the book is not as melancholy as it seems. The memoir also features Priyanka’s achievements as an actor-producer and how her love story with her now-husband Nick Jonas began.
Sharing an anecdote about how she was always a ‘daddy’s girl’, Priyanka spoke about how she was always seeking his attention and had once put a beetle inside her father’s ear when he was asleep. Her father had required surgery to remove the insect!
The actor had also been so eager to be a mini-version of her dad that she had tried to shave her face once and cut herself. She had needed eight stitches to seal the wound.
At this point, her mother, Madhu spoke in the interview about what she did once she found what Priyanka had done. “I laughed,” her mother said. “Then we took her to hospital,” she added.
“See, this is the parenting I’ve had!” Priyanka said good-naturedly.
Later explaining what she still has as “unfinished business”, the actor elaborated that her priorities now were her philanthropic foundation, getting complex leading roles in US films as she did in Bollywood, creating quality south Asian content as a producer, particularly for women, and starting a family.