Why is an Indian actress named Priyanka Chopra playing an American FBI agent named Alex Parrish, you might ask? And what is with that accent?
Well, American television shows routinely hire actors from all around the world and it is not uncommon to see non-American actors cast as American characters. For instance, Dominic West and Idris Elba, both Britons, put on strong Baltimore accents for acclaimed HBO drama 'The Wire'.
Chopra's shaky accent in 'Quantico', an upcoming terrorism drama that premieres this fall on American TV network American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), should, therefore, be the least of your worries, since her character is meant to be an American citizen who is half Indian by ethnicity. The trailer was unveiled by Chopra herself on Twitter late on Tuesday night.
At first glance, 'Quantico', which also features Scottish actor Dougray Scott ('Mission: Impossible II'), comes across as a typically overwrought American drama that combines the 'Police Academy' series with Angeline Jolie starrer 'Salt' (2010).
Chopra and her co-stars are FBI trainees at Quantico, a highly competitive 'boot camp' for aspiring agents. There are several 'high school drama' clichés to be found here. Chopra's Parrish has sex with a man in the backseat of a car who later turns out to be in the academy with her (although she's the one who is unfazed about it). Girl (and token gay character) check out a hot, young recruit walking around wearing just a towel. One character spends a contemplative moment near a pool wondering why he's doing all this even as Chopra's voice-over proclaims, "... they weeded us out, one by one." Check, check, and check.
Eventually, Parrish is shown getting framed for engineering "the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11" (in an attack whose aftermath is reminiscent of Ground Zero) and is forced to go on the run to clear her name, much like Jolie does in 'Salt'. Yawn.
As of now, 'Quantico', which recently got picked up by ABC for a full season, will not be airing on an Indian television network.