Washington: Priyanka Chopra admitted that for the first time in her 22-old career, she had pay parity when she shot ‘Citadel’, during her conversation with Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke at the inauguration of the South by Southwest Film Festival.
The actor put forward her version with a bit of scepticism. “I might get into trouble for [saying this], depends on who’s watching,” she said on Friday.
“I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for now 22 years, and I have done almost 70-plus features and two TV shows,” Priyanka continued. “But when I did Citadel, it was the first time in my career that I had pay parity.”
Citadel is Prime Video’s upcoming big-budget, globe-trotting spy thriller produced by the Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame) and showrunner David Weil (Hunters), and stars Richard Madden (Bodyguard) along with Chopra Jonas.
Priyanka added, “I’m laughing about this, but it’s kind of nuts, I put in the same amount of investment and work, but I get paid much less. But the ease in which Amazon Studios said, ‘That’s what you deserve, you are co-leads, that’s just fair,’ and I was like, ‘You’re right, it’s fair.’ And I wonder: Did that happen because there are very few female decision-makers in Hollywood? Would that have been a different conversation if a woman didn’t make that decision? Those are not conversations that happened very easily.”
Salke replied that she can’t speak to what would have happened if she wasn’t in charge, yet praised her executive team. “I have great male and female allies who are at our company,” she said.
During the Q&A portion, Jonas also told an anecdote about being body-shamed by an unidentified person before the festival, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’ve been told many things that are difficult to hear,” she said. “I arrive feeling crappy because somebody told me yesterday I wasn’t ‘sample sized.’ I was hurt and I discussed it with my family and I cried to my husband and my team and I felt really bad about the fact I’m not sample-sized and that’s a problem, apparently. Most of us are not. ‘Sample-sized’ is a size 2.”
Jonas then asked the audience: “Who’s a size 2? … I don’t see a lot of hands.”
Speaking about her character in the series ‘Citadel’, Priyanka said, “Nadia is a complex woman. She bears the weight of the world — as most women do. She doesn’t like to show her real feelings and weaknesses. She’s the toughest one in the room. She’s always the one making decisions, making sure everyone gets home safe. And then you see her vulnerabilities when she’s alone, and I felt the burden of her character, it was just so much fun for me to chew into.”
The series premieres on Prime Video April 28, debuting with two episodes, followed by a new episode released weekly on Fridays.