Transnational Screen Navigations

Priyanka Chopra’s Televisual Mobility in Hollywood

Authored by: Pawan Singh

The Routledge Companion to Global Television

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138724341
eBook ISBN: 9781315192468
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



There was a time in Indian television when actors who had limited luck in the Hindi film industry would migrate to Indian television. By the 1990s, with the beginning of television’s transformation in India owing to economic liberalization, the converse was also occasionally true with former TV actors such as Shahrukh Khan and Vidya Balan becoming successful in Hindi cinema. The boundaries between Indian film and television were slowly becoming blurred toward the end of the twentieth century. Yet, the migration of stars from the big screen to the small was still considered a “failure” and the less common movement from television to film was deemed more successful. In the twenty-first century, however, television is no longer considered a consolation medium. The Hollywood television debut of the hugely successful Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra in a leading role on the TV show Quantico (USA, ABC, 2015–2018) and her subsequent numerous appearances on American television talk and award shows, including the Oscars, offer a prime example of television as a competitive medium for established stars. However, Chopra’s case is noteworthy for exemplifying not just star mobility between film and TV but also across national industries. Her move to American TV testifies to the increasing transnational viability of Bollywood stars in the twenty-first century. Importantly, the uptake of her rise on the American TV screen has been seen as part of the broader arrival of South Asian performers on American TV. But her success differs from Indian actors of American origin whose trajectory recapitulates the immigrant narrative of breaking free of stereotypical roles to play realistic, meaningful characters on the screen. Chopra’s representational currency and her “global” Indian English accent instantiate the logic of televisual mobility – her transnational screen navigations speak, not to a teleological moment of arrival on the American screen but her ability to make professional choices that enable her to represent Indians everywhere.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.