Prime News, Bollywood, Hollywood, Cinema, Entertainment, New Delhi, July 19:- Actor Priyanka Chopra was not the obvious choice for the Miss India title 18 years ago as one of the jury members felt her complexion was “too dark”, says a new book on the star who turned 36 on Wednesday.
Then 17, Priyanka took part in the beauty contest from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh and emerged as the runner-up — Femina Miss India World 2000.
Lara Dutta was crowned Femina Miss India Universe, while the second runner-up Dia Mirza won the Femina Miss India Asia Pacific title. All three women went on to clinch the title in their respective categories — Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific.
In ‘Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star,’ Pradeep Guha, one of the mentors of the contestants for that year’s contest, remembers how one of the jury members was uncertain about Priyanka.
“Not everybody in the jury was initially in favour of her. One person mentioned she’s too dark,” he recalls, without naming the jury member.
“I said, ‘Yaar come on — look at South American girls. They keep winning and some of them are pretty dark as are all the girls from Africa. So I said what are you talking about? ‘I was always very certain about her and as I said this woman never made a mistake twice,” Guha is quoted in the biography by Aseem Chhabra.
The contestants faced a range of celebrity judges – actors Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Waheeda Rehman, cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin, media mogul and film producer Pritish Nandy, painter Anjolie Ela Menon, the then founder-chairman of Zee Media (and now Rajya Sabha MP) Subhash Chandra, fashion designer and perfume queen Carolina Herrera, and Marcus Swarovski, the great-great-grand nephew of the founder of the Austrian crystal company.
Priyanka has managed to carve an international career and is now one of the most recognisable Indian faces working in Hollywood.
The actor, in past interviews, has spoken about facing issues due to her complexion even within her ‘Punjabi family.’ –(Inputs: Agencies, NGB)