TAKING FLIGHT: Priyanka Chopra voices the character of Ishani in Disney's Planes.
Photography by Stevie & Mada

MOST LITTLE GIRLS dream of becoming a princess, but for Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, voicing Ishani, the reigning Pan-Asian champion in the new animated feature Disney’s Planes, fulfilled a different kind of childhood dream. “As a child I wanted to be a pilot, and when I grew up, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. I wanted to build planes,” she tells Celebrated Living. “So for me, it was fascinating because I was actually giving a plane life and a feeling. If a plane would speak, this is what they would say.” For the former Miss World the sky is truly the limit, with the release of the movie as well as “Exotic” — featuring rapper Pitbull — her debut U.S. single from her upcoming first album. “I feel like I’m at a point in my life where the world is my oyster,” she says. “As a professional, anything that’s creative I want to give a shot and see if I’m good at it or not. I may not succeed every time, but at least I’ve tried.”

FLYING SOLO Making an animated film tests your limits as an artist because you’re in a confined booth where you just have to create magic. I wanted Ishani to be a little sexy and sassy because she’s a champion. The animators and the filmmakers are really talented to be able to, from my voice and from my performances, create a plane which has my attitude. 

SUMMER SONG All my music has been about creating characters because I’m an actor, and that’s the only way I know how to do it. My new song, “Exotic,” with Pitbull, was about creating this summer girl’s fun ride. [Mega producer] RedOne and I made the song in Ibiza, so I was inspired from all the sounds that come from being there.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT INDIA There are so many different kinds of people in India, so many different cultures, so many different religions, and we all live together as one. Our culture is extremely traditional, yet really modern because we have huge influences from the West too. I would like to show people India for what it is, but it takes a lifetime, so I would just show people the mood they’re in. There is something for every mood in this country.

I NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT all kinds of shoes! I travel really heavy [laughs]. A girl’s got to have options, you know? You never know what you’re going to need before you go. I’m not practical. I’m sorry. I’m a girl, so vanity comes with the package, but my shoes are really important to me.

THE ROCKSTAR LIFE I’m a 24-hour person. I never take time off. I work Sundays. I work New Year’s. I work Christmas. I really never have jet lag. I land and go straight to work, no matter where I go. But when I do take time off, anywhere with a beach, a bikini, and a martini, that’s vacation for me.