Parineeti Chopra talks to MW about holding a triple honours degree, collecting paper bags as a hobby and how she loves dating under blankets.
Be very honest — what’s the best part about losing all that weight?
The clothes! Five years ago, I weighed 86 kilos and I was either wearing black or camouflaging my body and covering up because I wasn’t confident about being photographed. A lot of people tell me I’m almost unrecognizable now.
What’s the junk food you miss the most?
I haven’t given up anything. I love eating, so if I give up a particular dish, I’ll get cranky and crave it more.
If not an actor, what would you be?
An investment banker, since I’m one by qualification. I was a victim of the recession, because it was very expensive for companies to employ recent graduates, especially non-residents. So I came to India against my will, to while away time till I got the opportunity to go back. Then acting happened.
Does that make your triple honours degree useless?
Not at all. It ensures my brain doesn’t get rusty. I’m always reading about all kinds of stuff. I’ve always been academically inclined. It helps me not get too filmy and get sucked completely into this world. In Bollywood, it’s easy to lose yourself and forget about everything else. This way, I can have a balance. Also, marketing was one of my majors, and I do use that knowledge sometimes, but it’s not really that straight. Marketing yourself is an inherent talent. A degree can’t teach you how to market films.
What’s on your travel list this year?
Iceland and Norway are next on my list. I like taking time off to travel, so if work doesn’t take me there, I’ll go by myself. I also make a lot of diving trips, because I enjoy scuba diving. I’m still a beginner, because I only manage 2-3 dives a year, and you progress based on your number of dives. I’ve covered Phuket, Bali and recently the Great Barrier Reef, which was amazing.
What’s your favourite cocktail?
I’m a teetotaler. I don’t even know the names of drinks.
Is Twitter a boon or just a job hazard?
It’s a double-edged sword. I personally have a lot of fun on it, and it doubles up as a sort of newspaper too, but sometimes, it gets tricky. The smallest things get blown out of proportion or become newspaper articles.
What’s the craziest rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
That I paid Aditya Chopra to make Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. To me, that was amazing to hear, because it came at a time when I barely had the money to pay my rent, let alone give any money to Adi.
Who is your biggest fan?
There’s a guy who believes I still live in Ambala, where I grew up, and where my parents still live. He regularly goes to my mom and gives her a lot of gifts for me. He’s been told many times that I live in Mumbai, but he won’t listen. I haven’t been able to meet him, but I do appreciate his gestures.
Describe the perfect man in three words.
Simple, honest and homely.
What’s the most memorable date you’ve been on?
I haven’t really been on conventional dates. I’ve only been in a couple of long-term relationships. The best ones were just spent sitting at home under a blanket, ordering in and watching a movie, eating and talking. I’m a very homely person when it comes to relationships.
Tell me about your best friend.
Shahzaib is from Karachi. We met in Manchester as students, and we’ve been friends for ten years now. He’s the male version of me. We hardly get to meet — maybe once a year — but I speak to him very often. At the university, we were the duo that was always laughing or making others laugh. There was a time when I lay in the middle of the road, laughing away while cars drove by, only because he said something funny.
What’s your worst habit?
I can annoy people with how clean and tidy I am. I wouldn’t call it OCD, but if I move something from its place, I insist on putting it right back.
Name one word that gets on your nerves.
Dear. As in, being addressed as ‘Hi dear’.
Tell us three things that no one knows about you.
- I’m terrified of plane landings, even after flying for so many years.
- I always sleep on the right side of the bed.
- I have the world’s largest collection of paper bags. I’ve collected thousands of them over the years; you could call it my hobby.
Photographs: Rohan Shrestha
Styling: Antaram Motiwala
Creative Direction: Kapil Batus
The (cover) story was first published in April 2016