Indian film star Priyanka Chopra says she was eager to add a U.S. TV series to her resume.
“It’s like the golden age of television right now and I wanted to be part of that … revolution,” Chopra said of her role as a FBI recruit in ABC’s new drama “Quantico.” It debuts Sept. 27.
But she told the network that she didn’t want to be cast for the color of her skin, what she looks like or where she’s from, Chopra told a TV critics’ meeting Tuesday. The goal was a worthy project that “gave me the respect of being an actor.”
Chopra said she is glad to bring further diversity to ABC, which includes characters of various ethnicities in “Fresh Off the Boat,” ”black-ish” and other series.
Since coming to America as a student, “I never saw anybody who looked like me on TV, and this was an opportunity for me to change that.”
She plays Alex Parrish, an Indian-American whose fledgling FBI career and freedom are in jeopardy after a New York terrorist attack. It’s a juicy role in a “smart show’ that any actress would covet, she said.
Parrish is “Jason Bourne in female form,” Chopra said.
Despite her new job, she has no intention of abandoning her film career back home.
“I love doing my Indian films, and it’s amazing that I can balance both,” Chopra said, labeling herself an effective multitasker. After this season wraps she’ll jump back into a film.
TV’s 15-hour-plus production days took her by surprise. So did being in the dark about her character and story lines until getting each script, in contrast to knowing how a movie begins and ends.
“They tell me nothing,” she said of the producers. But she heard from a good source, Kevin Spacey, that’s part of the charm of working in TV.
Spacey said during a master class that he never knows what “House of Cards” character Frank Underwood is up to until he reads it on the page.
“It keeps you on your toes,” he told her.