Quantico, starring Priyanka Chopra premiered on Indian television a week after its American debut. There are a number of firsts that have happened with the series. Not only is it an impressive jump from Bollywood to leading an all-American cast on an all-American prime time television show, it has also generated so much curiosity that Chopra’s is a suddenly familiar face outside India.
The parallels with Shilpa Shetty are irresistible. When Shetty entered the Celebrity Big Brother (2007)house in the UK, she became a champion, a cause celebre for the “brown” representation of actors in international shows. Luckily for her – or was it scripted that way? – what appeared to be intense racism worked in her favour. She returned to India with an international exposure that gave her the kind of success her entire film career hadn’t till then.
Germaine Greer wrote about Shetty on the show, “Everything about her is infuriating: her haughty way of stalking about, her indomitable self-confidence, her chandelier earrings, her leaping eyebrows, her mirthless smile, her putty nose and her eternal bray, ‘Why does everyone hate me?’ Not to mention the crying jags.”
And when Shetty was announced the winner, her reaction was, “Are you kidding me?”