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Priyanka Chopra on her high school experience in the US: “I used to have my lunch in the bathroom”

The 40-year-old actress also spoke about coping with the loss of her ‘greatest cheerleader’, her father

Smera Marcia Toppo Calcutta Published 29.04.23, 12:18 PM

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Actress Priyanka Chopra used to have lunch in the school bathroom during her early days as a teenager in the US because she was too nervous to interact with other kids and haunted by the thought of coming across as an “idiot”, the 40-year-old said in a recent interview.

“I used to have my lunch in the bathroom, inside one of the stalls, because I was so nervous,” the Citadel star said on the Today show that aired on Friday.

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“I didn’t know how to go to the cafeteria and get food, I would get Doritos from a vending machine. I’d go to the bathroom, quickly eat, and go to my class, so I didn’t have to meet kids,” she added.

Priyanka held onto this habit for a long time till she learnt her way around the school cafeteria. “I didn’t understand how to navigate hallways, how to find the homeroom, how to go to a cafeteria, how to grab a tray. All of that was new for me. I observed for the first three or four weeks, before I got the confidence, and I knew I wasn’t going to look like an idiot.”

Her struggles with Malti

Priyanka and her husband Nick Jonas announced the arrival of their daughter, Malti Marie Jonas, in January last year. Their one-year-old went through a tough battle in the initial days after being born prematurely, Priyanka revealed.

“I remember he (Nick) just held me by my shoulders and I said just tell me what to do because I don't know what to do and he's like just get into the car with me. We drove to the hospital where she was born and from the moment she took her first breath to now she's never been without one of us ever,” the Quantico actress said, talking about the strength that Nick held when they found out about the premature birth of their daughter.

The Miss World 2000 further spoke about her initial struggle with her daughter after bringing her home. “Being a NICU parent, you really get used to the Monitor and you know your child is alive because you can see their heartbeat. I couldn't sleep for days because now suddenly she was home without a monitor. I used to put my ear on her chest. I would wake up every couple of minutes to just see if she's okay for weeks. This went on until I found a camera that could do it,” she said.

Coping with the loss of her father

Priyanka also spoke about the time after she lost her father, Ashok Chopra, to cancer in 2013. “I think I lost my greatest cheerleader,” the actress said while talking about her late father. “He would love just standing and watching me be on set. He just wanted to be around to watch me do what I do. It was a very isolating experience when he left. I, kind of, was very disoriented. I went into a very dark place,” she further added.

“Cancer is a really bad disease. My father was a defence army man, you know he used to wear his uniform and ride on his bike, handsome, tall and the life of a party. To see what the disease did to him in his last few days kind of really broke me,” Priyanka said, remembering her father.

Finding a ‘cheerleader’ in Nick

Priyanka found one of the biggest traits of her father in her husband, Nick Jonas. “He’s my cheerleader,” the actress said when asked about what makes their love story work. The couple got married on December 1, 2018 after two years of dating. Their 10-year-age-gap wasn’t just the talk of the town but also what initially made Priyanka hesitant of dating the Sucker singer.

“I knew him for almost two years before we started dating. I didn’t give it much of a chance because you know I was like he's 25 years old, he's a rock star and like I want to get married, I want to settle down, I want to have a baby. I was 35 at the time and I was like I've been there and done the fun thing like now I'm in a place where I wanted stability and I just didn't give Nick enough credit. I went out with him on our first date and then we spent the whole evening together and I realised my husband is just like an old soul. He's stability in human form,” she said.

The actress is currently on a global tour for Citadel promotions with the cast and crew of the Prime Video series. Priyanka will be seen next in James C. Strouse’s Love Again, which will release in theatres on May 12.

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