After being conferred the Padma Shri last year, Priyanka Chopra has now bagged three National Awards for her first Marathi production, ‘Ventilator’. Sounding ecstatic on the phone call from the US, Priyanka told BT, “We are a small production house and are still taking baby steps. It’s not easy for a female actor to become a producer, but I received a lot of support from my friends.”  The actress revealed that it was her mother who broke the news of the win to her. “My mom is here with me. She woke me up at 5.30 am to share this news. It was a deja vu moment for me, since I was told about the National Award for ‘Fashion’ in a similar way, as I wasn’t in the country at the time.” PC attributes the win to her team and reveals a grand celebration is in store for them, once she is back home. She will be landing shortly in India for ten days.  Priyanka shared that it was essentially the film’s script that drew her to it. She recalled on an emotional note, “I fell in love with the story, as I felt it on a personal level. My father, too, was on a ventilator and I wanted to make this film for him. I remember Rajesh Mapuskar (director), telling me that it was difficult for him to get producers for this film, as it had an ensemble cast of 118 actors. As a creative person, I want the stories to resonate with the audience.”   She further elaborated, “I am just an artiste, not a strategist, so I just go by my gut reaction when it comes to choosing scripts. I pick stories that strike a chord with the audience. Also, my mother and I make a great team. I handle the creative part and she manages the business side of the production house.” When asked what draws her to regional films, she explained, “My vision is to create opportunities for new talent and make films that were not being made before. This gives me a sense of gratification. I go by my heart and gut feeling. Making films is a lot of hard work, so I was in tears when we won for Ventilator. We are producing films in Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Bengali and another one from Sikkim. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without my mom’s support.”  Talking about juggling work in two film industries at the same time, Priyanka said, “I work very hard and don’t take time off for anything. I work like a mad, possessed woman and fly across the world to keep commitments. Also, you should be fearless about what you want to achieve. Don’t let anyone tell you that you deserve less.”  She concluded the conversation by sharing her life goals, “I like to win. I am not out there to prove anything. I just want to leave a legacy of my work behind.”  The Times of India : 9th. Apr,17


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