New Delhi: After making an action-packed debut in the international small screen space with “Quantico”, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has earned one more admirer in Shiri Appleby. The American actress says she has heard “nice things” about the former Miss World, and wants to work with Bollywood’s ‘desi girl’.
“I would love to work with Priyanka Chopra. One of the actresses on ‘UnREAL’, Johanna Braddy, is on ‘Quantico’ and says the nicest things about her. So, I think I would enjoy the experience of working with and getting to know Priyanka,” Appleby, who essays role of a young aspiring producer in American dark comedy and drama series “UnREAL”, told IANS in an email interview.
Priyanka, who went global with her talent as a singer in 2012 with her single “In my city”, walked into the small screen fiction space of the west through the ABC action-thriller series “Quantico”, in which she plays Alex Parrish, a rookie FBI recruit with a mysterious past.
Appleby might be aware about the Indian actress, but she’s oblivious to the world of Bollywood.
“Unfortunately, I don’t know too much about Bollywood or Indian actors although I would love to learn more,” the actress said.
Appleby is all set to bring the dark truths and secrets of the ever popular reality TV show genre on the Indian small screen with her show “UnREAL”. The show is premiering in India on Saturday on Star World and Star World HD.
As far as the storyline is concerned, set against the backdrop of the hit dating competition show Everlasting, “UnREAL” is led by Appleby’s character and to what extent she can go to manipulate her relationships with and among the contestants add more spice to the show and sensationalise it. It also stars Constance Zimmer as second female lead.
Appleby, whose roots trace back to Jewish culture, hopes the show changes the way women are portrayed and perceived through the small screen.
“Indian audiences will love the show because it will show them that reality television and women in that world are not what they have previously been presented as,” said the actress, who had her breakout performance on the series “Roswell” at an age of 19.
But how can a TV show bring a change in the presentation of women? Appleby is quick to note that the female protagonists of the show are real with their share of flaws.
“I think ‘UnREAL’ stands out from all the rest because it is unlike anything else on television. It is exposing a world that has never been seen in this light before and the two lead characters are women, who are not written to be perfect or pretty – they are designed to be real, which can be ugly, insecure, mean, and nasty at all different moments,” said Appleby, who is married to chef Jon Shook.
For the preparation of the role, she met reality show producers and “asked what it is like to manipulate the contestants, best methods for manipulation and how it makes it feel about it”.
“Speaking with all of these people really gave me insight into the world so I had a better understanding of the culture and world I was aiming to recreate,” she said, adding that the show has changed the way she “watches reality TV”.
Appleby, who has also worked in films like “The Thirteenth Floor”, “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Love Surreal”, asserts that the “foreign TV industry” can be a window for innovative content for Indian audiences.
Other than “UnREAL”, the actress will soon “start work on the second season of the TV show in March and is also doing a guest appearance on the CBS medical drama ‘Code Black’”.