Priyanka Chopra, who has stepped into the shoes of boxer Mary Kom in an upcoming biopic of the Olympic-winner, says she has invested a part of her soul in the film and her heart will break if it fails at the box office.

The 32-year-old ‘Fashion’ star says ‘Mary Kom’ is a very special film for her and she has pushed her limits to do justice to the role. “I started this film at the hardest point in my life, four days after my father passed away. All my grief, everything, I have shoved into this movie. Every single day of making this movie has been a challenge. A part of my soul has gone into it. I would go home, cry and tell my mother, ‘I don’t think I can do this’ and be back on the sets next day,” Priyanka told PTI in an interview here.

The actress went through a tough physical transformation to portray the role of the boxer in the Omung Kumar directed movie. “The film is special to me. I am not good with dealing failures and I am not prepared to face it with this film especially because it is too close to my heart. It has inspired me personally and I want it to do well,” she said.


The actress has been promoting the film in different parts of the country. She is next headed to Toronto International Film Festival for its world premiere on September 4. The film releases in theatres on September 5.

Priyanka says ‘Mary Kom’ deserves to be promoted aggressively, unlike other films, which are commercially big. “The film needs aggressive promotion because it’s not some big budget ‘masala’ film. I want people to watch it because I know they will be inspired by it. It is a story of how a young woman fights all odds to become India’s face in the boxing circuit worldwide. It is entertaining too because Mary is a fun person, who celebrates life to the fullest,” she said.

Priyanka feels responsible towards this film much more because of the faith put in by the boxer in her despite criticism from some sections that a North East actor should have played the Manipuri athlete in the film.

“I feel so responsible that Mary is okay with me, a North Indian, playing her. She said ‘I would rather have you, an Indian, playing me on screen than some South Asian actress who looks like me’. I also believe that looking similar is important in a biopic but I have tried to tell her story and showed her real persona, so I am hoping people will like it,” said Priyanka.

The actress said that the makers  initially thought about casting someone who looked like Kom but later they decided to approach her. “This film needs to reach wider audience. She has put
faith and responsibility in me. I am grateful to her and her family, they have shared so many details of their life with me,” Priyanka said while calling it “a great creatively satisfying experience”.

The National award-winning actress says she tries to keep a balance between films with meaty roles and commercial cinema, where male actors take the lead. “I will never stop doing big budget films, though I do try to have some substance in my roles but if it is not there then I don’t mind doing such films because my commercial viability as an actress comes from successful films I do.

“That’s the honest thing. If I have to do a film like ‘Mary Kom’, I need to do these big budget films,” she said, adding that an actress’ value in the industry is judged by her commercial success and not by the strong roles she does. It is a movie-making business and the value of an actress in Bollywood depends upon her commercial viability, which in turn depends upon box-office. It holds true for male actors too,” Priyanka said.

The actress will be next seen in Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Dil Dhadkane Do’ with Ranveer Singh, and her maiden production ‘Madamji’, which will be helmed by Madhur Bhandarkar

By Shamim Noorani

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