Stardom is not all glamour. It's synonymous with non-stop work. I was prepared for a long, relaxed and sit-down interview with Priyanka Chopra here but what happened eventually was a complete surprise - a quick talk in her car on the move.
She was sleepless, under the weather with cough and cold and had a long list of work commitments. That notwithstanding, the actress made full use of her time on the road to accommodate media interviews through a little 'relay' game. All this for Mary Kom, a film close to her heart.
"I prefer face-to-face interviews over telephonic interactions," Priyanka told this IANS journalist, who had a chance to experience the 'adventure' with her in the capital on Tuesday.
The interview was slated to happen at a hotel but the actress' busy schedule demanded that select media persons travel in vehicles that followed the swish Audi in which she was herself travelling in. The entourage of cars would stop midway to switch journalists from one car to another so that Priyanka could comfortably give the interviews one by one.
Excerpts from the interview
Quite an adventure, no Priyanka?
"Maine socha thoda drive pe chalte hain (I thought let's go for a drive)," Priyanka quipped.
If a source from the film's team is to be believed, a similar mechanism - they call it the "relay" - was adopted to conduct interviews in other cities too due to paucity of time.
"We have kind of mastered this," added the source, who was helping to facilitate the network between the different cars, some of which seated journalists, bodyguards, members of the film's marketing and public relations team, as well as Priyanka's personal public relations team. Perhaps it felt weird as it was a first time experience for me. But an experience it was, definitely!
As planned - or rather unplanned - the National Award winning actress sat pretty in the moving car, wearing a chic beige dress with a pair of striking turquoise earrings, well-matched accessories and a pair of shades. Her look impressively camouflaged her tiredness.
A pack of Strepsils lay on the arm rest of the car - indicating that she needed the lozenges to soothe her sore throat.
Just on Monday, she had shared on Twitter that she was coughing and sneezing. And On Tuesday morning, she had a flight to catch to Delhi from Mumbai.
"Too less sleep, Flight, Blurry Eyes, Sleep walk...Delhi...Yawn..Zzzz.. No! I'm up..I'm up...coffee..Focus #MaryKom," the actress had tweeted to over six million followers on Twitter Tuesday morning.
In the afternoon, she looked energised.
I asked her if she had slept.
"No! But I had lots of coffee," she said, and dismissed just how she was going to survive the 'days' of film promotion.
On Wednesday night, she's all set to leave for Toronto to attend the world premiere of Mary Kom at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, and then back to the grind in India to get feedback on the movie that she's given her best shot to.
As an afterthought, I wonder about the life that actors live when multi-city promotions are on their head.
It's almost tradition now for film stars and filmmakers to create a strong buzz among fans and movie lovers in not just metro cities but smaller cities too. So, tiredness or illness, one guesses, the show must go on.