Priyanka Chopra is red hot, but manages to keep it classy.
The Indian actress, who plays the couture-clad villain in “Baywatch,” has been tearing up Miami and turning heads.
The “Quantico” star plays Victoria Leeds, who presides over The Huntley Club, which oversees the beach where Mitch (The Rock) and his comely crew are lifeguards. Leeds is more than just a pretty face — she’s also a drug smuggler.
That’s not to say Chopra didn’t have fun with the baddie role, her first in an American movie.
“That was a big reason for me to choose ‘Baywatch,’” said Chopra while in town for press interviews. “Because after playing such a positive character in ‘Quantico,’ America knows me as this hero who saves the country. I just really wanted to be different as an artist. I enjoyed that so much. Victoria just not fit into their world. You just stand out.”
Chopra had the distinction of being one of the only cast members who doesn’t have to prance around in a swimsuit. Her wardrobe was designer all the way down to her fancy shoes.
“One of my favorite scenes was on the beach and [director Seth Gordon] says, ‘OK you have to get out of the jeep now. And I was like, ‘In my heels? That would be so absurd!’ Suddenly, he came up with the idea that one of her minions — and she has a lot of them — put a stool in front of her.”
Chopra had other fun moments tormenting her costars, like Zac Efron. In another scene, Victoria has the former child star lowered down into the ocean inside a shark’s cage. Efron, as rookie lifeguard Matt Brody, yells that she’s the b-word before going under.
Chopra repeats her line from the movie: “If I was a man you would call me driven!” laughs Chopra, adding. “Those are the things that made her so interesting to me. I love Victoria. You can do so many different kinds of evil.”
Interestingly enough, the former Miss Universe says the role was originally written for a man. She had to persuade Gordon to hire her over the phone as she was in Montreal shooting “Quantico” during the casting process.
“It was a 20 minute call that lasted two hours,” she recounted. “My conversation with him became so creative. About 10 minutes later, he called and said ‘We want you for the film. We need to figure out dates.’”
While Chopra wasn’t required to wear bathing suits for the shoot, Chopra did indeed don a few skimpy styles on her down time while in the Magic City. Paparazzi caught her on the beach with Miami based Victoria’s Secret bombshell Adriana Lima.
Maybe in the sequel, Priyanka?
After “Baywatch” comes out May 25, get used to seeing even more of Chopra. Season 3 of “Quantico” just got picked up for a season 3.