Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Image Credit: Instagram/PriyankaChopra

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas used to be one biggest fixtures on the big screen, mostly playing second fiddle to the lead male star. However, the new mum says that options for women have changed so much.

In an interview with Deadline, Chopra Jonas said that in her early career, when she was crowned Miss India in 2000, the industry was more cut-throat.

“This was early 2000s and yeah there was competition because in any predominantly patriarchal society, women are pitted against each other and there’s just one that can be the best,” she said. “Over time, I think especially in my generation, we’ve all made immense strides in digging in our feet and creating a sisterhood, which I’m very proud to be part of now as a community.”

Since her movie debut in 2002 Tamil film ‘Thamizhan’ and Bollywood debut in 2003’s ‘The Hero: Love Story of a Spy’, Chopra Jonas has played a variety of roles in India and abroad. She’s now set to star in and co-produce a project that’s never been done before in Bollywood — a female-centric road trip movie called ‘Jee Le Zaraa’.

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Image Credit: AFP

“Whether it’s Bollywood or in America, what I’ve experienced is women standing up for women. I’m doing a movie in India now with two of the top actresses in the country, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt, and the three of us decided we wanted to do a movie together and partner together to produce it,” the actress said. “It was very different when I started out. We were all pitted against each other, and our casting was very dependent on the lead actor of the movie, and it depends on who is the flavour at that time and that was a very unsettling feeling.”

Chopra Jonas added: “Now you see many female-led films being box-office successes, hence a lot more female-led movies being made. And female actresses of my generation that have had the courage to say, ‘OK, I’m gonna get to work with the big actors but also have agency in my own career and have films that I will produce.’”

A number of Indian actresses have launched their own production houses — Chopra Jonas has Purple Pebble Pictures, Alia Bhatt launched Eternal Sunshine Productions, Anushka Sharma had Clean Slate Filmz, and Deepika Padukone has Ka Productions.

Asked where she saw herself in five years, Chopra Jonas mentioned how the world right now was “a scary place to raise children”, without directly referencing her newborn daughter Malti whom she shares with husband Nick Jonas. However, she did say she is “focusing on the now more than I ever have.”