Priyanka Chopra says intention was good behind ‘The Activist,’ calls backlash ‘tragic’

Priyanka Chopra understands better than anyone the craziness of social media. The 39-year-old actress sent her 72 million followers into a tizzy when she dropped husband Nick Jonas’s surname from her Instagram handle two months ago. And then there was that time when the internet effectively canceled The Activist, a reality show set to be judged by Chopra, Usher and Julianne Hough, before it ever aired.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Chopra opens up about living under a microscope, saying, “It’s a very vulnerable feeling, actually, that if I post a picture, everything that’s behind me in that picture is going to be zoomed in on, and people are going to speculate.”

Chopra adds, “It’s just a professional hazard…. Because of the noise of social media, because of the prevalence that it has in our lives, I think it seems a lot larger than it is. I think that we give it a lot more credence in real life, and I don’t think it needs that.”

In September, Chopra found herself in the middle of a social media firestorm when The Activist was announced. The planned reality show was set to feature six activists going head-to-head promoting their causes. The success was set to be partially based on online engagement and “social metrics.” There was widespread criticism that the show was essentially pitting contestants against each other. The Indian star issued an apology, admitting the show “got it wrong.”

Chopra tells Vanity Fair she has “no idea what they’re going to do” with The Activist now and that producers, like Hough, have gone back to the drawing board to revamp the show. However, she maintains they had good intention behind the production.

“I’ve been involved with Global Citizen for so many years, and I know the strides that they’ve made when it comes to global poverty and climate change. They’ve done incredible work. So, it’s really tragic when something like that happens because that is never the intention,” she explains about the nonprofit. “It makes me sad because I try to live my life as a good person every day, doing the best I can, just like everyone else. And it would just be nice to be seen for that sometimes.”

Despite the backlash, Jonas tells the magazine he’s never seen Chopra get overwhelmed by the pressures of fame.

“We both know that public life is something that comes with what we do,” he notes. “But we’ve set real boundaries around our personal lives, our privacy, and worked really hard to create that little safe haven for ourselves with our friends and family.”

As for creating a family with Jonas, the international star says kids are “a big part of our desire for the future,”

“By God’s grace, when it happens, it happens,” Chopra explains. When the journalist notes her and Jonas’s lives seem busier than ever, the actress quips “No, we’re not too busy to practice.”

When the reporter clarifies she wasn’t talking about sex but their busy work schedules, Chopra says she’s they are “both okay with” slowing down. But that’s not happening at the moment as she’s in London filming Amazon’s action series Citadel.

“I’ve always been such a worker bee,” Chopra adds. “My priority has always been the next job. I’m a very, very ambitious person. But I think the woman in me is craving balance. I’m craving my family life. I’m craving being able to do things for the soul that I didn’t do because I was just ‘blinders on’ and working.”

Chopra says her career path has left her with some bruises and scars.

“I think maybe that’s why I’m becoming a lot more introverted as I go along on this journey in the entertainment business now,” she explains. “I’m starting to protect myself a lot more because I realize how much it takes out of you. It takes a part of your soul, constantly trying to make sure that you say the right thing, do the right thing, dress the right way, not make a mistake, not trip because the whole world is going to watch. Or not fall when you’re walking up on a red carpet or say something wrong or have a bad f****** day.”