Playing 40 was the toughest: Priyanka Chopra

By Ruchika Kher

Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) From a 21-year-old to a 65-year-old, Priyanka Chopra portrays almost every crucial stage in a woman's life in her new thriller "7 Saat Khoon Maaf". But she says stepping into the shoes of a 40-plus character was the toughest as she couldn't connect to the age group.

"The 20s was my age, so it was fine and not so difficult; 30s was something I could expect and somehow imagined. The 50s and 60s were still easier to do because you become a lot more older so your body language is like that.

"But the 40s was the middle period, so it was very difficult. You are not very old but you are not very young either. So to get that correctly was a task," Priyanka, 28, told IANS in an interview.

The film, which will be showcased at Berlinale, is the big screen adaptation of Ruskin Bond's short story "Susannah's Seven Husbands".

When Vishal Bharadwaj, who had earlier adapted "Blue Umbrella" by the grand old "sahib" from Landour in Mussourie, decided to make a movie on it, the author expanded the few-page short tale into an 80-page novella and then into a 200-page full-length Hindi movie script.

"It's a very entertaining and wicked movie. It's amusing and not serious. It's a satire which makes it very interesting," said the mainstream actress who proved her versatility as a highly ambitious model in issue-based movie "Fashion" and won the National Award for her performance. She was a delight to watch in "Kaminey".

"7 Saat Khoon Maaf" is slated for a Feb 18 release. This is Priyanka's second film with Bharadwaj after the 2009 release "Kaminey" and the actress has no qualms in saying that the director knows how to exploit her potential.

"Vishal has always brought out the best in me and this time too he has given me one of the most challenging parts an actor can get. I'm really grateful that he thought I was capable enough to do it and pull it off," she said.

"There is a lot of responsibility on you when you work with a director like him. He is the kind of person who gives you the scene and says 'okay, do it now'. No instructions. After I give my first take, he tweeks it a little bit. So the responsibility as an actor is completely on you, which is very scary," she added.

The film's promos hit the screens some time back and have created enough curiosity thanks to Priyanka's sinister look and menacing tone.

The actress says the role demanded a lot from her.

"It was emotionally and physically very draining and I used to take out all my tantrums on Vishal. We used to fight like anything. He used to yell at me and I used to yell back. But then we used to make up," she said.

The former Miss World jumped on to the Bollywood bandwagon in 2003 with "The Hero: Love Story Of A Spy". In eight years, she has done commercial as well as author-backed sensitive roles too.

She is happy that people offer her powerful roles.

"The films that come to me are like that. Nobody offers me films where I don't have a good role. All my films have very power-packed parts for me. I'm grateful that people say that I'm the only one who can do those roles. It's never been a conscious effort, but obviously if I'm doing a film, I would want a good role in it," specified Priyanka.

The actress will be seen in a different avatar in Anurag Basu's "Barfee", which also stars Ranbir Kapoor.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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