Priyanka Chopra Has Everything It Takes To Play the Baywatch Villain: Dwayne Johnson
Baywatch might not have released in India yet, but the critics abroad have watched the film and lauded Priyanka Chopra’s small, but significant role. The film, directed by Seth Gordon, features Priyanka as the antagonist Victoria Leeds and is based on the popular show of the same name. Baywatch also stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario.
CNN News18’s Entertainment Editor caught up with Priyanka and Dwayne in Miami and spoke to them about their new film, how they hit it off instantly. Interestingly, the team also revealed some fun facts from the shoot days.
When asked about the personal admiration and respect towards Dwayne, Priyanka said, “It’s nice to have someone to look out for you when you don’t know too many people. And he doesn’t need to do it being ‘The Rock’ and being the sexiest man on the planet and all other designations that he has,” adding to the fact that he called her whenever he saw her interviews or covers and appreciated her when she was new to the states.
“He’s super nice. And as a producer, as my boss, technically I work for him, he just takes care of everyone and that’s a very nice thing to see. It makes him really human,” she added.
Dwayne, in his usual sassy tone, quipped, “She’s okay. I love this woman. It’s funny because the way Baywatch came to us all – it was kind of this really cool universal energetic thing that happened and not necessarily with the movie but with the fact of how Priyanka and I got connected.”
“As you know, as India knows and now as the world knows, she’s incredibly talented and an ambitious woman and wants to build and wants to grow. She signed with our agency, my agent in particular so we immediately had that connection. We got on the phone, we immediately vibed, we shared the same DNA, had the same ambition and immediately knew not that I would fall in love with her but I had this crazy idea that she’d be an amazing villain in Baywatch.”
Considering that the role was first written for a man, how did he think that Priyanka would be fit to play a baddie? “In order to be a villain, one should have the greatest capacity and quality and depth and that’s exactly what Priyanka has,” he said.
“So originally it was written for a man but way cooler when we flipped that model and made it a woman but also the challenge is finding the right woman who can stand up against this entire team of the avengers of the beat, but stand up against this in a viable way but then also the beast side to it is to bring in a weight and gravity and also to bring a sultriness and sexiness.”
The two revealed that Priyanka always asked for the tallest pair of heels while shooting with him.
On being asked about what made them believe that the movie, targeted for the younger generation, would also strike a chord with the fans of the 80s show with the same name, Priyanka said, “I think it takes the spirit of what Baywatch, the TV show was – camaraderie, team work and doing something that’s bigger than itself. And it wraps that up in a dirty, naughty kind of way and that’s what makes it super sexy and sort of relatable with our generation.
Dwayne, who highlighted the importance of being self-referential in the film, added, “that’s a tricky thing. You’re making a movie based on an 80s TV show and there have been movies in the past that have gone sideways – tried and didn’t work. So being self-referential – it was a tricky tone.”
“But there’s something about Baywatch that’s legendary with people – all around the world. something that we all felt that we had a spirit that could still play today, even though it’s from the 80s- beach, sexy, fun and lifeguards and someone evil.”
Dwayne signed off by saying that as much as he wanted to bring Baywatch to India, his tight schedule wouldn’t allow it.
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