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Priyanka Chopra, the Miss World 2000 winner, made her Bollywood debut as a supporting actress with director Anil Sharma’s The Hero: Love Story of a Spy (2003). But did you know she had offered returning her signing money to Sharma because of her botched nose job?
In a recent interview with Bollywood Thikana, Sharma shared how he decided to stand by Priyanka when she was about to give up on her acting career.
How Sharma found out about Priyanka Chopra’s nose job
After the release of the superhit film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Sharma was on a two-month-long international trip when he read about Priyanka Chopra’s nose job in the papers. He stated how did not understand why she felt the need to do so as she already had a beautiful face. The papers said that the actress got it done because she “wanted to look like Julia Roberts”.
Seeing Priyanka Chopra for the first time post her nose job
On returning to India, Sharma was presented with a video of Priyanka by Pravin Shah, who was one of the producers for his upcoming film The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. Shah told Sharma, “this girl will not do”, to which Sharma replied, “who is this?” Sharma was shocked when he was told that they were Priyanka’s pictures, as she “looked very dark” and “her face looked really bad”.
He immediately called for a meeting with the actress; who was set make her debut in his upcoming film. Priyanka showed up in tears with her mother, Madhu Chopra.
Sharma asked Priyanka, “why did you do it?” Madhu answered that it was due to her daughter’s sinus problem.
The mother and daughter shared with the director that many other directors had cancelled their deals with Priyanka. They then proceeded to offer returning the signing money to Sharma. The two had plans to return to Bareilly for a few months, shared the director.
Sharma and his wife liked Priyanka and her parents. Upon learning about the situation, his wife encouraged him to help the actress. His wife had been the one to hand over the signing money check to Priyanka.
Sharma decided to stand by Priyanka
Sharma decided to call a veteran makeup artist who had previously worked with the likes of Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi in Yash Raj Films and asked him for help. The artist promised that they would be able to do something about it.
Three days later, a screen test was shot with Priyanka after she got her hair and makeup done. He then showed the screen test to producer Shah, who had previously shown Sharma videos of the actress and rejected her. Shah liked her and was unable to recognise her.
Priyanka then played her role of a supporting actress for Sharma’s film, alongside leads Preity Zinta and Sunny Deol.
Sharma takes no credit for Priyanka’s success
Sharma stated that even if he had not helped the actress, he knows that Priyanka Chopra would have still reached the amount of success that she has today. “She is very hardworking” and “she has always had a fire in her belly to do something great”, the director said.
Following the success of Gadar 2, Priyanka and her husband, Nick Jonas, sent the director who launched the actress a congratulatory present; a picture of which he shared on social media.