Priyanka Chopra was first hesitating to take the role of Mary Kom, As per the report, she did that film because she was ‘greedy as an actor’. Priyanka stated that the role should have gone to someone from the northeast.
The role of Mary Kom should have been enacted by ‘someone from the northeast’ said Priyanka in an interview. “We look nothing alike” Priyanka further added.
Omung Kumar was the director, the film Mary Kom was based on the life of the eponymous boxer from Manipur who won several honours for the country, including an Olympic medal and multiple world championship trophies. The film was released in 2014.
The actor Priyanka Chopra was interviewed with Vanity Fair, their she spill out some thoughts on her role in the film Mary Kom.
“When I played Mary Kom, I was very sceptical taking it on in the beginning because she was a living, breathing icon and she made a place for so many female athletes. Plus, I look nothing like her. She comes from the northeast of India and I am from northern India and we physically didn’t look alike. In hindsight, the part should have probably gone to someone from the northeast. But I was just greedy as an actor to get a chance to tell her story, because she inspired me so much, as a woman, as an Indian woman, as an athlete. When the filmmakers insisted I do it, I was just like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do it.’ said Priyanka.
Priyanka used to do training to build up her physique and undergo intense boxing training and also spent time with Mary and her family.
“I went and met Mary, I spent time in her home, I met her children, I met her husband. I had to spend almost five months training to learn the sport, which is not easy, by the way… And to physically alter my body as well, to get into an athlete’s shape. So, physically, it was tough, mentally, it was tough. Because I physically didn’t look like her, I decided to embody her spirit. So, I spent a lot of time with her so that she could educate me about what her choices were, why she made the choices that she did,” she explained.
When Mary Kom was released in theatres it became the centre of controversy because of the casting choice. People were hailing it as ‘racist’ as someone from the northeast should have been cast in the film listed of Priyanka Chopra.
Although the film received much critics, Mary Kom won the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment in 2014. Priyanka also got several awards for her performance, including the Screen Award, Producers Guild Film Award and Stardust Award.