Priyanka Chopra was born on July 18, 1982, in Jamshedpur, India. When she was in high school, Chopra won the Miss India pageant, and she soon followed it by taking the 2000 Miss World pageant as well. On the heels of that international success, Chopra turned her sights to the film world, and in the past 15 years, she has become a huge star, appearing in nearly 50 films, chiefly in the Bollywood system. In 2015, she signed on to the American TV drama series Quantico, which focuses on FBI recruits.
Priyanka Chopra was born on July 18, 1982, in Jamshedpur, India. Both her parents are doctors, and her father was in the army, so Chopra’s family moved quite a bit as she grew up. She studied at the La Martiniere Girl’s School in Lucknow before relocating to the United States for three years. She started high school in Massachusetts before moving to British Columbia, Canada. From there it was back to India, and Chopra then attended the Army Public School at Bareilly. It was during this period that Chopra’s life would begin to switch gears, as she entered and won the May Queen contest at the Bareilly Club.
Soon another beauty pageant was on her radar: the prestigious Miss India.
"I was studying for my 12th boards, when my mother sent my pictures for the Miss India contest,” Chopra recounted. “When I got the call, I didn't know how to respond! My dad told me to give it a try. And I did…. I didn't think I would win. I just went to take a break.”
But she did win, and although she was enrolled at Jai Hind College in Mumbai, she quickly dropped out of college to explore her more glamorous options. She soon took her Miss India crown to the 2000 Miss World pageant and won that as well, becoming one of five Indian women to take the title. With that win came instant fame, and Chopra soon took the logical next step: the world of film.
At the age of 20, Chopra made her debut in the 2002 film Thamizhan and followed it that same year with Jeet: Born to Win. Of her debut, Chopra was clear: “I hated it!” she has said. “I wanted to leave the industry once I did it! I didn't know what I was saying or doing.”
In 2003, she appeared in her first Bollywood film, The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. That same year she appeared in Andaaz, and this kicked off a long string of films, including Plan, Kismat, Asambhav, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Aitrazz—incredibly, all released in 2004. While most of these films underperformed at the box office, Chopra found success with the romantic comedy, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Not content with making five films in a single year, in 2005, Chopra starred in six, including Blackmail, Karam, Yakeen and Barsaat, none of which were box-office performers. She followed these in 2006 with two of the year’s most successful films, Krrish and Don, but she was also in four other films that year that came and went unnoticed. In 2007, Chopra found little success at the box office, and in 2008 she returned with another six more. One of her 2008 films, Fashion, struck a chord with critics, and in 2009 Chopra stretched her abilities playing 12 different roles in What’s Your Raashee?
In 2014, she starred in the title role of Mary Kom, a film based on the real-life story of the female boxing champion. The film was the first Hindi-made movie to premiere on opening night at the Toronto International Film Festival and put Chopra in the global cinema spotlight once more.
In all, over the course of her short career, Chopra has appeared in nearly 50 films, with more recent titles including Agneepath, Barfi! and Bajirao Mastani.
In 2015, Chopra signed on to the cast of Quantico, an American TV show about FBI recruits. With the role, Chopra becomes the first Indian woman to star in a leading American TV network drama and marks her most visible crossover to date from Bollywood to Hollywood.
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