In a recent interview to an international publication, she talked about the disparity in the fees of male and female actors.
Priyanka said, “I feel it every year, especially when you’re doing movies with really big actors, whether it’s in India or America. If an actor is getting 100 bucks, the conversation will start with max, like, 8 bucks. The gap is that staggering. In America, we don’t talk about it as brashly, whereas in India the issue is not skirted around. I’ve been told straight up, if it’s a female role in a movie with big, male actors attached, your worth is not really considered as much. It happens in both countries, it’s just that here, it’s hidden behind other things. In America, everyone is so worried about being liable that they don’t want to say anything wrong, but they end up doing it anyway.”
About asking for the remuneration she deserves, Priyanka said, “I’m a producer, so I understand how much of an asset, as an actor, I would be on a project.I don’t negotiate—I make my [agent] negotiate. That’s step one. But I think negotiating is important. I’m not someone who is demanding. I’m conversational.
So when I talk money, I’m not going to be asking for ridiculous amounts that I might not be able to bring back. It starts with me being logical and saying, ‘I deserve that much in numeration. These are the returns that I see myself bringing to the table.’ And, usually most people come around when you place it like that.”
Priyanka, who plays the role of the protagonist in Quantico, also shared an incident where she lost out on a movie due to her skin color.
“It happened last year. I was out for a movie, and somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said, ‘She’s the wrong—what word did they used?—‘physicality.’ So in my defense as an actor, I’m like, ‘Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?’ Like, what does ‘wrong physicality’ mean?” And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, ‘I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who’s not brown.’ It affected me,' she said.