I did it! I got all the way through the first half of Quantico, watching just in case there is a moment that directly relates to or reveals something about Priyanka’s Indian career. And there is not! But I will be back in March (or whenever), just in case at some point she breaks character, faces the camera, and tells us all about what she really thinks about Kareena Kapoor, what the big fight with Karan Johar was about, and if Ranveer Singh actually hates her as much as he seems to in interviews (and vice versa).
So far, it’s just been a bunch of stuff that those who watch her Indian stuff already know: she is totally willing to do sexy scenes and kisses, her hair is great, she definitely has a new nose, and she has weird chemistry with powerful older men. Oh, and she can’t act (duh).
What I didn’t realize before was how much she is willing to sell out her identity in order to make it overseas. I know that she isn’t the one writing the show or producing it, but she claims she had her choice of scripts and concepts, and this is the one she chose? One that turns a Christmas episode into a New Years one because they didn’t want to deal in anyway with whether a Hindu and a Muslim would celebrate Christmas? One that, last week, dismissed her Om bracelet as a symbol of her personal identity, rather than a sign of her being a practitioner of the 3rd largest religion in the world? One that argues we should avoid violence against the Muslim community because it will turn them against us, not because it is wrong?
In his interview last month with Vogue India, Shahrukh Khan was once again asked why he has never taken a role in an American film, despite being the most popular international star:
“I hope everyone who ‘goes across’ does very well. We’re the biggest filmmaking country in the world and it’s time we were outbound. Yes, if there’s a film with the right role for me, I’ll do it. But I’ll be honest; I’ve never been offered such a film….They should be [afraid of me]. They have to offer me something that doesn’t disrespect my audience of 1.2 billion. I’d never disrespect that,”
Not just Shahrukh, but all of the major stars have given some version of this explanation. Aamir, Salman, Amitabh, they don’t want to work overseas unless it is something that respects them, and respects their audience.
So the biggest thing I learned about Priyanka from my death march through this show is that she doesn’t respect her audience, and she doesn’t seem to respect herself much either.