Actress Priyanka Chopra’s teenage years were a whirlwind: After growing up in India, the “Quantico” star spent high school in four different U.S. cities, including studying for a year in Newton. The city was a fitting landing place for Chopra given its remarkably high number of onetime residents who have gone on to showbiz success, including the likes of John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Matt LeBlanc, Julie Taymor, Louis C.K., Anne Dudek, Eli Roth, James Remar, Joe Rogan, Alex Karpovsky, and even the late Bette Davis and Jack Lemmon.
But according to an interview with Vogue, Chopra was decidedly not a fan of the year she spent in Newton.
Chopra told the publication that she faced racist taunts like, “Go back on the elephant you came on,” and, “Oh, my God, do you smell the curry?” during her time there as an 11th grader.
“It really marked the way I felt and my self-esteem,” Chopra said.
Vogue reported that after her year in Massachusetts, Chopra decided she was done with the U.S. and moved back to India.
Ultimately, Chopra returned to the States after building a successful Bollywood career, but still encountered racism that reminded her of what she had experienced in Newton. In 2013, after a song Chopra released with Will.i.Am, called “In My City,” was used as the theme song for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football broadcast, Chopra said she received negative reactions on social media including, “Who is this Arab terrorist?” and, “She’s not American. This is an American sport.”
“It took me back to being that 16-year-old girl again,” Chopra told Vogue. “I remember talking to my manager and saying, ‘It will always be like this.'”