An actor’s job is very draining – Parineeti Chopra
For years even after her sister Priyanka Chopra became an actress, Parineeti Chopra never found an actor’s job ‘impressive’. She says, “Priyanka would be pissed off when I would tell her that her job is easy. She knew what acting was but I was illiterate about the profession. For me acting meant, wearing good clothes, being rich, travelling and leading a glamorous life.” However five films down – Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, Ishaqzaade, Shuddh Desi Romance, Hasee Toh Phasee and Daawat-E-Ishq, her point of view has changed.
Hear Parineeti’s first person account of a day in the life of a Bollywood actor.
When I have to shoot on top of a snow-clad mountain in skimpy clothes, there is nothing glamorous about it. To do that is not easy. When I am on that mountain all day in less clothes and I have to think about focus marks, catching the light, not overshoot the camera mark, act differently for different angles and different camera lenses, it is not glamorous.
Films are very technical and it requires intelligence. I learnt all this only when I was working in YRF in their marketing department. I realised it was a good and respectable profession to be in. My mindset changed over a period of time while working there.
As actors our day starts early in the morning, we sleep at odd hours and are constantly judged because of what we do, and how we are performing. There is a lot of insecurity in our job and a lot of patience is required. That is why we are paid so much.
People might think that all an actor has to do is get clicked and be on a magazine cover. But that one photo shoot may take anywhere between 10-12 hours on top of the eight hours that you have shot for a film. In between all that you are dubbing, doing costume trials, appearing for interviews. It is a difficult life but I am not complaining.
Before a film’s release there are 6-8 hours of interviews lined up for a couple of days and if there’s a new film narration that would take about four hours every day. At the end of the day, even if you want to watch a film to unwind, you are too tired to do that.
I am not even going to talk about what goes into staying in shape. That’s taken for granted. Every actor has to do it. And before your day starts, an hour of hair and makeup time goes into making you ready for the day. Sometimes 24 hours are not enough. So you have to force yourself to sleep in time to wake up the next day.
I don’t much enjoy the promotional part before the film releases. There are so many papers – Hindi and English, then there are different city tours, around 11 radio shows to go to, television, the digital platform and all this needs to be done in the three weeks before the film’s release. It becomes very exhausting sometimes. We enjoy press conferences so much because it is so interactive and you can announce at once whatever you need to and then just answer everyone’s questions at one go. I love doing interviews but to do it 20-25 times a day becomes quite hectic.
I used to love my personal space a lot. My personal life was very important to me — people I am with, my friends, where I go and what I do for myself, everything was very important. All that has gone now but I enjoy acting a lot.
Now I have started taking days off consciously. I have started scuba diving and doing things apart from work to keep myself sane. Otherwise emotionally it can get very draining.
– Priyanka Jain