Want to work with Priyanka Chopra: ‘This Is Us’ star

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By Sugandha Rawal
New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS)
American actor Justin Hartley, who is currently seen in TV show “This Is Us”, says he would love to share screen space with Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, and hopes she finds some time out from her busy schedule to make it a reality.

Hartley knows about the world of Bollywood, but says his knowledge about Indian cinema is “unfortunately very little”. He hopes that just like the increase in exchange of talent, the knowledge and awareness about the Indian entertainment industry also witnesses a surge.

“Unfortunately, I know very little about Indian cinema. I know we have Bollywood… But my knowledge about it is very little… That should also probably change,” Hartley told IANS in an India exclusive interview over phone from Los Angeles.

“Bollywood seems very bright, fun and beautiful. I know that it is massive in India. I want to dive into that more. It looks a lot of fun,” he added.

Hartley made a special mention of Priyanka, who is on global high with the success of her American TV show “Quantico” and her forthcoming Hollywood debut via “Baywatch”.

“I would love to work with her (Priyanka). She is fantastic. She is pretty busy right now I guess having her own show. Everytime I see her, she seems into the moment. She is a very good actress, and from what I have heard, she is a very nice person… Though I’ve never had the pleasure to meet her,” he said, adding that he hopes to work with her “someday soon if her schedule lightens a little bit”.

Hartley started his acting career in 2002 with the TV show “Passions”. The 39-year-old actor was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has been associated with shows like “Smallville”, “The Young and the Restless” – the show which earned him an Emmy nomination. He has also made appearances in shows like “Castle”, “Revenge” and “Mistresses”.

At the moment, he is basking in all the appreciation coming his way for his show “This Is Us” – which is on a hiatus and will be back this month on Indian small screen via Star World Premiere HD.

“This Is Us”, also featuring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K Brow and Chrissy Metz, revolves around the lives of a group of people with the same birthday, including Jack (Ventimiglia), whose wife, Rebecca (Moore), is expecting triplets in Pittsburgh.

The triplets are — Kevin (Hartley), a handsome television actor growing bored of his fly bachelor lifestyle, Kate (Metz), his funny and sweet heavyset twin, and Randall (K Brow), a big shot commodities trader in search of his biological father.

The show is also making headlines for incorporating complex emotions in the storyline, and throwing light on issues like male stereotyping in showbiz.

Hartley plays role of an actor who refuses to be just an eye candy for the camera, and leaves showbiz.

Asked whether he was ever used as an eye candy in real life, Hartley quipped: “That’s a tricky, but good question. I understand it, but it is very hard to answer without sort of disrespecting any job that I have been on, or the people that hired me.”

The actor added that it remains true “for any kind of field, not only actors”.

“I think people sort of inherently want to put you in a box and they want to categorise you into something…I think we all have sort of felt that, and we all are guilty of doing that… It is very frustrating, and I think it is an ongoing thing in my life, and others’ life.”

He enjoys the world of television and finds it fascinating how content changes regionwise.

“Every time I travel, the things I see on TV are kind of very specific to the region. The world is getting smaller, but there is still that space — this is what French television looks like, or this is what television in US or in India look like,” said the actor.

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at sugandha.r@ians.in)

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