Priyanka Chopra talked about playing a ‘sexually charged character’ in Aitraaz, when she was around 21, and how the positive response to the film changed her script choices. She said that people warned her against taking up the role and said that the audience may not see her with ‘purity’ later.
Directed by Abbas-Mustan, Aitraaz also featured Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles. Priyanka played a woman stuck in an unhappy marriage as she makes sexual advances at her ex-boyfriend, who now works under her husband. When he resists her, she accuses him of rape.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Priyanka said that heroines back in the day were expected to be ‘coy, pure, good girls’ but her character was a ‘bad b***h’. “Because my character was a sexual predator, and I was 21 or 22, people were like, ‘If you play such a sexually charged character, I don’t know if your audience will be able to see you with that kind of purity and that dream girl.’ The girl you want to take to your parents, basically, versus the one you want to take to your bed’,” she said.
However, Priyanka was ‘shocked’ by how well her character in Aitraaz was received. “I’ll never forget, we were at the screening and I was terrified. I was sort of embarrassed too because my parents were watching it as well. When the movie finished, people stood up and they started clapping and they started looking at me. There were other people in the movie who were massive stars but I walked out of the theatre and people were standing outside to congratulate me. And it was such a crazy moment in my head because I had built it up in my head that I was going to be cancelled after this movie and no one’s ever going to work with me again,” she said.
Also see: Priyanka Chopra first revealed ‘panties should be seen’ incident in 2018, said film was with a ‘ginormous Indian actor’
Priyanka said that Aitraaz ‘changed (her) career’ and encouraged her to take up projects which ‘made (her) nervous’. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Villain for her performance in the film.