Nailing Baywatch’s iconic slo-mo strut was no sweat for Priyanka Chopra. Starring in Bollywood films since 2001, “I have years of experience,” she explains. “We really love our slow motion when it comes to the introduction of girls. There’s a trick to it. You kick while you walk.”
Tackling the villain role came easily too. As power-hungry Victoria in the remake of the campy ’90s hit, the Quantico star faces off against elite lifeguards (Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron) as she tries to smuggle drugs onto the beach. “It’s such a fun spoof!” says the India native, 34. She dives in with Us.
Us Weekly: Growing up outside of the U.S., did you watch Baywatch?
Priyanka Chopra: I loved the show! Watching it was my ritual with my mom. I was on the other side of the world, so Baywatch stood for the quintessential American dream. It was what I knew America to be. When the script came to me, I read it as a fan like, “They better not have messed this up!”
Us: Is it fun to be the bad girl?
PC: Victoria is so delectable to me! She’s always in couture and she never gets her hands dirty. But she’s not evil just because. She’s a woman in a man’s world and she has a point to prove. There’s a really amazing scene between Zac and me where he goes, “You’re a bitch!” and I turn and say, “Yes, if I was a man you’d call me driven.”
Us: OK, be honest: Who has better abs, Zac or Dwayne?
PC: That is so hard! I have the best job in the world because I have them both in front of me. I used to watch Zac work out and every time I would reach for the Cheetos. Psychologically I was like, “I need to give him some support!”