Priyanka Chopra Jonas is one of the most recognizable people in the world. She started her career as the winner of the Miss World pageant, and later took the global entertainment industry by storm. Along the way, she’s had to develop her confidence, resilience, and self worth. This week, Priyanka sat down with us to share her career journey - and how her relationship with herself has evolved.
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Carly: The entertainment industry is infamously known for the continued issue of wage equity, and the disparity around how men and women have been paid. And obviously there are strides being made and people are being much more open about it, but I would love to understand from you your experience with that and how you learned how to get more comfortable talking about money and negotiating.
Priyanka: I mean, I've been kicked out of a movie once, or been told that I should leave. I wasn't kicked out of it because I decided to stay and suck it. But I was told that if I don't take the paycheck, which was nominal compared to my co-actor for almost the same amount of work, the producer said to me that, "There're so many other girls who will take this opportunity. And, you know, women...in big movies like this are interchangeable, it's fine." And that really stuck to me at one point, and this was early in my career.
And I didn't do anything about it. I had to work within the system because that's what we're told, that, "You know, if you want this job, this is the only way." And [in my] early 20s, that's what I believed. And again, it took almost 15 years for me to get to that place where I could stand my ground. And it took hearing the conversations from other women banding together to give me the confidence to stand up for myself.
Danielle: 2020, for the world, was a really weird year. And people have had to be resilient and also deal with grief in a lot of ways. You talked about your dad as being one of your biggest supporters. How did you, or were you able to, take lessons from the grief to become more resilient?
Priyanka: Definitely. But, you know, I can talk a big talk and fall into that again, you never know. We’re all human. We all have a journey that we have to go on. But I think I have tools in my toolkit now to be able to deal with it in a better way. I think accepting the fact that you are grieving is very important, instead of running away from it.
For a very long time, I always ran away from my grief, and ran towards work or towards relationships or towards something, but never dealt with the things I was feeling. And I think accepting the fact that you're grieving, or you feel sad, or you feel afraid of failure [in] your career, or anything. Accepting your feelings is the first step in taking away their power.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr and Peter Bonaventure.
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"I'm a big fan of faking it till you make it."
"I want to diversify [ballet]. I want people to see and know that a Black girl can be a ballerina in a mainstream white company."
"People want to [put] you into a box. But it's your decision if you want to go along with the molding or not."