I don't want to be too Western or Indian

As her music and film career expands beyond Bollywood, actress Priyanka Chopra says she is now in a position to change common misconceptions that people may have about India.

The 31-year-old former beauty queen plays an eye-catching, animated racing plane in Disney's Planes. Her entry into Hollywood also coincides with her foray nto pop music.

What drew you to take on the voice role of Ishani in Planes?

I was really excited about the fact that Disney had come to me with this movie and, when I read Ishani's part, I loved the fact that...she becomes a little bad, then she's a little good.

Why the transition to Hollywood?

For me, it's really not a transition... it's an expansion of my creativity. I mean, all you want to do is to grow in life and...I'm doing music, which is something I've never done before and if I do a movie (like) Planes, it's something I've never done before.

I'm just challenging myself more than ever, so I don't really see this as a transition.

Have you received much support from other Bollywood or Hollywood stars?

I've had some amazing friends and I've also had a lot of detractors who've said "What are you doing?", so it's a constant battle.

It is hard, and I guess when you put yourself out there and do things and change things and shake them around, you're bound to be judged and you're bound to be criticised and applauded, so I hope that I give people more reasons to applaud me than criticise me.

How challenging is it to navigate your film choices while being respectful of Indian cultural traditions?

I am who I am. I am desi (from India), and I am videshi (from outside India).

I've been brought up in America, I've been brought up in India, and I think the amalgamation of that is what I want to be.

I don't want to be too Western or too Indian, or too here or there. I want my work to reflect that. It always has in my movies, and I want my music to do that too.