When the National Awards were announced last afternoon, Priyanka Chopra was fast asleep. Naturally; it was 2.30 am in the US. Her mother, Madhu Chopra, who is currently with her, couldn’t resist waking her up. And in Chopra Sr’s words, Priyanka “jumped out of the bed and hugged me” on hearing the news.
“I always end up being woken up with news of National Awards in the middle of the night. And invariably, I am in America. I was here shooting for Anjaana Anjaani when I received a call about Fashion (2008, her first National Awards). I don’t know how many actor-producers have won one before, but I am excited to be part of the privileged league. I am really excited about Ventilator bagging three honours because it is a movie I wanted to make for my father (late Ashok Chopra),” says Priyanka, speaking to us from the US.
The actor-producer recalls how director Rajesh Mapuskar was finding the filmmaking process difficult with 75 actors in the cast. “But the story resonated with me, and reminded me of the time my dad was in the hospital and all that my family went through. When I spoke to Rajesh sir yesterday after the awards were announced, he told me my father would have been very proud. This wouldn’t have been possible without my mom; everyone at Purple Pebble Pictures (her banner) put in their heart and soul into the film.”