There seems to be a sudden escalation of activities in Priayanka Chopra's career. After a series of non-happening projects, including the ghastly Asambhav, she's rocking and rolling in Bollywood, thanks to the impact of her performance in Aitraaz.
Catch her on a Monday afternoon as she huffs and puffs to the airport to catch a flight to Delhi, and Priyanka shows no signs of a change even though all of Bollywood is talking only about her. She slows down. 'Aitraaz was an important film for me. I knew it all along. My problem was how to play the wanton woman without going overboard. How to be a temptress and seductress without looking like a complete vamp' I think I've managed to do that, don't you think' You nod in agreement as dozens of heads turn towards her with gazes of admiration and envy.
Aitraaz has got her a place in Rakesh Roshan's next directorial venture. 'Yeah, can you believe it' she grins. 'There were some moments of suspense when Rakeshji wondered if Hrithik and I would look compatible. We did a photo session together and we're on. I'm so excited.'
I tell her about Karan Johar's comments earlier this week, 'Suddenly after Aitraaz, Priyanka has joined the ranks of the big stars. Even her bearing has changed.' Priyanka grins some more as she tries to get the 'Closed' sign at the counter for the Delhi flight open for her (she succeeds in a second). 'Did Karan really say that' I don't feel different. But after Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and now Aitraaz I guess people's attitude towards me has changed. I'm being very careful to not let all this affect me. My parents would kill me if I suddenly started giving attitude. I must say Aitraaz worked because of my wonderful co-stars Akshay and Kareena.'
Kareena who has had problems with female costars in the past (like with Bipasha Basu during Abbas-Mustan's Ajnabee) is all praise for Priyanka. And says Priyanka: 'Kareena is a doll. I had absolutely no problems with her during Aitraaz. In fact, she was very, very helpful. And she has told me how much she likes my performance. Who says two actresses cannot work together'
While Priyanka's equity and ecstasy shoot up, there's always the cloud. 'I'm distressed by a story that my family and I've been spreading stories about being signed for an RK film. 'First of all, I've had no such offer. I've never been approached by either Mr Randhir Kapoor or Rishi Kapoor. Secondly, do I need to spread false rumours about how well my career is doing' I mean, I'm doing pretty well for myself.'