In an industry dominated by the Khans and the Kapoors, Priyanka Chopra is proud to have made her own space without the support of any guardian angel.
"I came into the movie business with no help and no one to guide me. I take pride in the fact that I am self-made and I have become tough over the years," Priyanka, whose latest film "Gunday" released Feb 14, told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
The 'desi girl' was born to a physician couple in the Indian Army. Her first brush with showbiz came when she stormed her way to success at the Miss World pageant in 2000. A career in movies was waiting to happen, and she was noticed with the 2003 film "Andaaz".
In her over 10 years' association with Bollywood, she has essayed various roles and even pocketed a best actress National Award for "Fashion". But Priyanka believes she still has a long way to go in the industry.
"There is so much more that I have to do and which I will do. As long as people watch me or want to be entertained by me, I will find ways of entertaining them as I am a performer and that is what I intend to be," said Priyanka, who has excelled in films like "Kaminey", "7 Khoon Maaf" and "Barfi".
She is also one of the few new-age Indian actors to diversify and take up a career in singing. A trained singer, Priyanka has so far launched two singles - "In my city" and "Exotic" - and hopes to strike a balance between both careers.
"I didn't want to be someone who gave up something to gain something else. I think as women, we can multi-task really well. And that is exactly what I intend to do. I hope to be able to balance both my careers. Both are very important to me," said Priyanka, who recently released a teaser of her third single in London.
She is also geared to combat any hurdles which may come in her way of making it big in the music industry.
"This (Bollywood) was also very tough. I am not someone who came from here. It was a tough conquest. Doing anything new is hard. That (a music career) will be difficult as well. I don't know how or where it will go...all I am doing is trying," said the 31-year-old.
She is also open to taking up something else besides singing and acting once she is comfortable managing both the worlds.
"Right now, the two of these are keeping me busy. I don't know what I might end up doing more. But it could be anything," she said.
The year 2013 proved to be more or less fruitful for Priyanka, who maturely faced her father's demise. She had two movie releases - "Zanjeer" and "Krrish 3"; two item songs - "Babli badmaash hai" from "Shootout At Wadala" and "Ram chahe leela" from "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela"; and did a voiceover in Hollywood animated film "Planes".
For now, the shooting of a biopic on Olympic medal-winning boxer M.C. Mary Kom is keeping Priyanka busy.
(Anjuri Nayar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)