Beseiged by nasty rumours and a whisper campaign, Priyanka Chopra has decided to immerse herself in work and focus on her forthcoming music album. But while the 29-year-old Pee Cee has opted for a dignified silence in the face of nasty media whispers, friends of the actress claim that her calm facade is just that.
Juggling work, her father’s illness, and these rumours have taken a toll on the star. In particular she is upset and flummoxed by the campaign unleashed by a powerful producer-director who can make and break careers in Bollywood. “At a recent party while he was feeding her cupcakes, she heard rumours of him bitching her out-all this is very hurtful,” said a close associate of the actress who did not want to be identified. The associate-cum-friend believes that a powerful clique of star wives is behind this spate of anti-Priyanka stories. “Priyanka has done nothing wrong. If these women are insecure about their relationships with their husbands, they should sort it out with them, at home. Why should they attack her?” thunders the friend.
The actress, who along with Vidya Balan has often been seen as Bollywood’s go-to girl for meaty writer-backed roles, has confided to her friends that whatever is happening to her could be a function of the way the male-dominated industry operates. But she refuses to let it affect her work. “The only way she can strike back is by doing more work, good work. And it is not just films. There is music, endorsements… she is a brand, a multi-faceted personality and there is no way any star-wife can take that away from her.” Says the friend emphatically, adding, “To all those who are calling her names, we would like to ask them, what are your achievements? You will only be remembered as Mrs so and so…!”
As for the stars that have allegedly refused to work with the actress, another friend counters by pointing out that she has always maintained a healthy professional relationship with her stars. “Truth is, she has not signed any new films for this year, as she is busy till October. There are several big-ticket projects she has been approached for. But since she has a policy of not announcing any project before it is ready to go on the floors, people will have to wait until August for news on that front.”
When Mumbai Mirror called for her version of the events, Priyanka said she would only talk about her work and the music album. “Whatever has happened is in the past,” is all she would say.
However, her protective friends were more forthcoming. “Ever since she was nine years old Priyanka has been in awe of Shah Rukh Khan. But now she is scared to even utter his name in public, no matter how innocent or professional the context.” Responding to rumours that the two will not be seen together because of various pressures, the friend says, “Priyanka and SRK shot together for Farhan Akhtar’s adult literacy mission film recently. There is nothing on the anvil right now for them to share a platform in public.” But sources close to the actress say they continue to remain friendly.
The actress, who is flying out of the country to finish work on her music album, has a lot going on in her life right now. For the last six months her father has not been keeping well. According to her concerned friends, it is not easy for her parents to read the vicious reports about their daughter every day.
“She is a feisty fighter, a hardworking girl and will not tolerate any attempts to discredit her
professionally,” says the friend, before joining the actress on the sets of Krrish, where she is shooting till the wee hours of the morning.