Renowned for her versatility and captivating performances, actress, singer, and film producer Priyanka Chopra has garnered global recognition for her 2-decade career in Bollywood and Hollywood. Born in Jamshedpur in 1982, Chopra launched into the limelight after winning the 2000 Miss World pageant, and has since become one of India’s most celebrated and highest-paid actresses.

Chopra gained prominence in Bollywood with acclaimed performances in films such as Fashion, Bajirao Mastani, and Mary Kom. Since successfully transitioning to Hollywood, she’s starred in the TV series Quantico and endeared audiences in movies like Baywatch and Isn’t It Romantic.

Beyond acting, Chopra’s also ventured into music and lent her voice to a variety of social causes, including environmentalism, feminism and the gender pay gap. She’s worked with UNICEF since 2006, advocating for child rights and providing resources to underprivileged Indian children.

There’s something magical about books. Once they’re printed, they live on and they have their own legacy and they get passed on from person to person.

In celebration of the 2021 release of her memoir Unfinished – which chronicles her early years in India to her rise as a global superstar – Chopra shared some of her all-time favorite reads in a video interview with Marie Claire.

From the Annna Sewell classic Black Beauty to Michelle Obama’s Becoming, explore the books that made her below, and complement with the reading lists of other iconic actors here.

Priyanka Chopra’s Reading List

Amnesty by Aravind Adiga

“He’s so clever in his writing, and he’s humorous and sarcastic and dark, but at the same time has a very fast-paced sense of storytelling. This book makes you think about refugees around the world, their lives and their choices. The choices they have to make and the ones that are made for them.” -PC

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (also rec’d by Trevor Noah)

“It has a commentary on family, it has a commentary on the slave trade and what that did. It has a commentary on being a Black woman in America today, where the book ends actually. And it really makes you think about life and the privileges that come along with it. What is destined for you and what are the choices you make that change your destiny.” -PC

Becoming by Michelle Obama (also rec’d by Amanda Gorman)

“The storytelling is extremely vivid, which I love. It’s about how she becomes the woman that she is, from Chicago to the White House, and that journey, which is so fascinating to all of us. It feels like a Cinderella story, but she gives that perspective of the hardships, trials and tribulations that she had to go through.” -PC

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (also rec’d by Christiane Amanpour & Morgan Freeman)

“It’s the story of this black stallion horse, which is raised by a very loving owner and then gets sold into a workforce. As an animal lover, I remember being really, really moved by this book as a kid.” -PC

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“Yes, its based in a fantasy land, and yes, we’re talking about magic. But the kind of issues that Harry deals with, and the relationships and the people – they’re all so human and I think that’s what makes this book so riveting.” -PC

Letters from a Father to His Daughter by Jawaharlal Nehru

“Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India after our independence from the British, and this was a book that he wrote when his daughter was only 10. Indira Gandhi, who was the first female prime minister of India. It’s basically 30 essays that he has written to his daughter telling her about the world and how the world was formed, shaping her worldview. And I remember as a young kid, I was so fascinated to read all of that.” -PC

(via Marie Claire; photo by Roy Rochlin)

Looking for an Amazon alternative? Support local, independent booksellers by shopping Priyanka Chopra’s reading list – and hundreds of other celebrity book recommendations – through Radical Reads’ Bookshop page.

Categories: Actors