Priyanka Chopra is a global superstar in 2022 but in her early days in the Hindi film industry, the actor faced quite a few rejections and was treated harshly by a few producers and directors. Priyanka made her debut in Hindi movies with Akshay Kumar in the 2003 film Andaaz, that also starred the then Miss Universe Lara Dutta. Producer Suneel Darshan, in a recent interview, revealed that when he first met with Priyanka, he felt that she had a “few defects that she needed to correct.”
In a chat with Siddharth Kanan, Suneel Darshan recalled the first time he met with the Desi Girl. “I mean the first look was you know… I had worked with Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Meenakshi, they were actresses.. very beautiful girls. I said ‘Oh my this is really different’. I made her sit down and tried to talk to her. In 15 minutes, I was assured of only two things, either I was gonna make a huge success of this girl, or this was going to be a big disaster,” he said.
He then spoke about her eyes and voice being her plus points but pointed out that she had a “few defects.” He said, “PC for me was those eyes.. she had this dark complexion, there were a few defects that she needed to correct at that point of time. But she had the hunger and she had this mellifluous voice of hers. My god, it was gorgeous. My entire unit, my entire team, Raj Kanwar, Akshay and whoever was there would say ‘Oh Lara Dutta, Lara Dutta’. I said Lara Dutta is good but the dark horse, the Rekha is coming. And that is Priyanka Chopra,” he said.
Priyanka and Lara both made their debut in 2003. The two women were Miss World and Miss Universe for the year 2000 respectively.
Suneel Darshan then recalled that Priyanka was not very keen on taking up the negative role in Abbas-Mustan’s Aitraaz. As per the producer, he “drilled it into her head” that this was a good role. He said, “PC, she said she was approached for a vamp’s role and she was so upset, she cried, she went home and she went to sleep. I said after you wake up come back to the office. She was here and I pressed on her the importance of her doing the role. I thought I drilled it into her head and yes it was wonderful for them to be in Aitraaz.” Aitraaz also starred Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor. At the time, the film was considered an out of the box choice for Priyanka. She played the role of a woman who used her position of power to seduce her former lover in the film. Aitraaz was loosely based on Hollywood film Disclosure.