To mark the occasion of Priyanka Chopra‘s 36th birthday on July 18, we round up some things you may not have known about the Quantico actor.
1. She’s BFFs With the Duchess of Sussex
Chopra counts Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as one of her closest friends. In fact, the two are so close that the Bollywood beauty was present at the high-profile royal wedding between the former Suits actor and Prince Harry on May 19. Chopra met the now royal at the annual Elle Women in Television dinner in 2016, and the two instantly hit it off. The star told People magazine in September 2017 that they “bonded as actors.”
2. She’s a Former Miss World
Back in 2000, Chopra’s mother entered the then-17-year-old into the Femina Miss India contest without her knowledge, which she went on to win. Shortly after claiming the title, Chopra went on to enter the Miss World pageant, where she was crowned Miss World 2000. During the question and answer portion of the competition, the Jamshedpur-born star was asked which living woman she admired the most. Her winning answer? Mother Theresa. Although Mother Theresa was not technically alive at the time, Chopra still became the fifth-ever contestant of Indian descent to win the prestigious title. The brunette beauty credits the competition for opening several acting doors and landing her countless movie roles in Bollywood.
3. She Sings, Too
Chopra is more than a pretty face and award-winning actor – the multi-talented star can sing as well. She actually has few singles under her belt, including a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, and a collaboration with will.i.am on “In My City”. Her second single with Pitbull, entitled “Exotic”, earned the actor-turned-singer a spot on the Canadian top 100 chart.
4. She Keeps an Unlikely Item in Her Handbag
In an episode of 73 Questions with American Vogue, Chopra was asked to unveil the contents of her handbag. At first, the products are what you’d expect any 30-something-year-old woman to carry in her purse: Gum, sunglasses, perfume, her wallet. But then, the actor pulls out an ubiquitous bottle of tabasco hot sauce, much to the surprise of viewers. “You always need hot sauce,” she exclaimed after the interviewer made a remark on how random it is to carry a bottle of the spicy condiment in your purse. In the 11-minute long interview, we also learn that skydiving is the coolest thing she’s ever done, she counts Rihanna and Rekha as her style icons, and she knows The Notorious B.I.G’s “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” by heart.
5. She Went to an Army School
The Baywatch star, whose parents were both physicians in the Indian army, completed a portion of her high-school education at the Army Public School in Bareilly, a school that established itself for educating the children of Indian armed forces personnel. Speaking about her experience, Chopra describes the school as “awesome, actually”, adding that it “really taught her the value of discipline.”
6. She Has Something in Common With Marilyn Monroe
In 2010, Chopra became the first Indian movie star in 70 years to cast her foot impression at Italy’s Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence. The actor’s shoe cast is displayed alongside the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Madonna, who all have their foot impressions sitting in the fashion museum dedicated to the life and work of the Italian shoe designer. Although Chopra is the first Bollywood beauty to grace the Ferragamo museum, she is the second Indian celebrity after the Maharani of Cooch Behar, Indira Devi, received the same honor in 1938.
7. She Made Fashion History
The former Miss World broke further ground when she was tapped to star in a Guess campaign in 2013, making her the first woman with Indian heritage to front an advertorial for the American label, some time before diversity in fashion was a buzzword. She appeared in a number of the brand’s print ads, all of which were lensed by Canadian singer Bryan Adams, joining a pantheon of Guess Girls that includes Claudia Schiffer, Adriana Lima, and Anna Nicole Smith. Three years later, she’d go on to make the Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list.