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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Priyanka Chopra milkshake madness & mayhem in West Hollywood

Film Flam Flummox

Although currently in the midst of shooting what promises to be the most demanding and rewarding role to date in her already (justly-)celebrated decade-long film career, a biopic of Indian female world boxing champion Mary Kom, Bollywood superstar Priyanka Chopra has come to the United States to promote her aggressive and ambitious two-pronged salvo into the American marketplace, beginning with unveiling her own signature milkshake, "Exotic," at famous West Hollywood milkshake bar Millions of Milkshakes on Thursday, July 25. While the release of her first foray into Hollywood film, as a voice in DisneyToon Studios' Cars spin-off Planes (out in U.S. cinemas on August 9) is around the corner, the promotional appearance at Millions of Milkshakes was primarily in support for her nascent career as a recording artist with Interscope/Universal Music Group/DesiHits--hence her shake being named "Exotic," after her latest single of the same name, featuring Pitbull.

As I've come to be familiar with (and rather amused by) regularly covering Indian film for over a decade, the popularity and general market appeal of Indian film stars, much less ones in the superstar realm like Chopra, is routinely underestimated--and, in this particular event's case, rather severely so, as it's no exaggeration to say legions of her fans ended up showing up, which proved to not only result in a headache for overextended security (both private and by local law enforcement), but also for the media. With the chaos compounding what were already severely strict time schedule constraints, the expected brief soundbite red carpet interviews with Chopra ended up not taking place for most of outlets covering the event (myself included, alas, much to my, needless to say, vast disappointment; Disney also ended up denying me a Planes-related interview with Chopra at the film's press junket this weekend). However, I was able to capture this interview she did give to Reuters:

I was also able to get some clean still photos of her on the carpet:

Despite the steadily increasing disorder and potential safety hazards (most especially for her fans, who were crowding the sidewalk and street in addition to pushing hard against all of the security barriers), reflecting the openness and poise she has displayed on the big screen over the years and dating further back to her reign as Miss World 2000, Chopra still took a fairly substantial amount of time to meet and greet as many of her admirers and well-wishers as possible, as can be seen in the very raw footage I shot below. (Apologies for the constantly moving camera and unsteady and fluid angles as it was a struggle to maintain a clear, much less stable, shot while literally being pushed around--even in the media line/pit, which quickly became overrun with fans--and various people crowding on the carpet kept on blocking the view.)

Disney's Planes opens in the United States on Friday, August 9 (the release in India, from Disney UTV, is still to be announced), while Priyanka Chopra's first three singles are on sale now:
Buy Priyanka Chopra and Pitbull's "Exotic" single here.
Buy The Chainsmokers and Priyanka Chopra's "Erase" single here.
Buy Priyanka Chopra and's "In My City" single here.

(Special thanks to Sheeraz Hasan at Millions of Milkshakes; Anjula Acharia-Bath and Ranj Bath at Desi Hits; Dana Supnick of LZ Media Group; and Reshma Dordi at Showbiz India.)

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