Priyanka Chopra in a recent interview admitted that the role of Mary Kom should’ve been played by ‘someone from the Northeast.’ Directed by Omung Kumar, the 2014 film was based on the life of the ace Indian boxer with Priyanka playing Mary Kom. The film also starred Darshan Kumar as Mary’s husband.
The film received criticism over Priyanka’s casting, with many pointing out an actor from the Northeast should have been roped in. A few also called the decision to cast Priyanka over a Northeastern actor ‘racist.’ Priyanka has seemingly agreed with the popular opinion now. She added that she got greedy as an actor.
“When I played Mary Kom, I was very sceptical taking it on in the beginning because she was a living, breathing icon and she made a place for so many female athletes. Plus, I look nothing like her. She comes from the northeast of India and I am from northern India and we physically didn’t look alike. In hindsight, the part should have probably gone to someone from the northeast. But I was just greedy as an actor to get a chance to tell her story, because she inspired me so much, as a woman, as an Indian woman, as an athlete. When the filmmakers insisted I do it, I was just like, ‘You know what? I’m going to do it,'” she said, speaking with Vanity Fair.
She added that she had to undergo intense training and also spent time with Mary Kom and her family. Priyanka said that getting into the shape of the athlete was tough physically and mentally, especially since physically she didn’t look like Mary.
Although the criticism, Mary Kom went on to do good business at the box office. According to Bollywood Hungama, the film opened to Rs 8.4 crore and recorded a lifetime collection of Rs 56.50 crore. Mary Kom also won several awards, including the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.