CITADEL Star Priyanka Chopra Jonas Featured on ELLE’s May 2023 Digital Cover

Posted on April 27, 2023


Priyanka Chopra Jonas is ready to flex her muscles. For ELLE’s May 2023 digital cover, the multihyphenate Bollywood star to CITADEL spy, rom-com darling, producer, restaurateur, investor, writer, activist, and new mom shows how she is just what the industry needs.

In ELLE’s May 2023 digital cover, Chopra Jonas shares her experience working on and shooting the spy drama CITADEL, one of the most ambitious and expensive projects in Amazon Studio’s streaming history, and opens up about her new perspective after becoming a mother and parenting alongside her husband Nick Jonas.




Priyanka Chopra Jonas on how she’s worried that she needs a hobby, despite her myriad professional ambitions, and on the first hobby she tried to pick up: “It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. How many women out there who balance work and life forget about doing something that is just for themselves, because they’re so consumed by having that work-life balance? I realized my husband plays golf and sports and has all of these hobbies. Why don’t I want more for myself?” She thought she might use her downtime to knit a sweater for said husband, singer/actor Nick Jonas. But the resulting effort was, “I swear to God, like seven times his size,” she says, laughing. “I have no concept of sizing. He was so sweet. He tried it on and was like, ‘Oh, it’s lovely.’ And it’s falling off of him.” So maybe knitting is not the answer, the actress concedes, but still, she wants more from her me time than a binge-watch and a glass of wine. “My life is complex and I understand that, so I end up doing something banal and simple. But I want to be able to rise above just banal and be able to find something that contributes to me as well.”

On her part in Citadel, a propulsive, high-concept series in which she plays Nadia Sinh, top agent of the namesake global spy network: Her partner, Mason Kane (Richard Madden), has had his memory wiped, which makes Nadia the alpha of the pairing—not a Bond girl, but a Bond. The Russo brothers “were very clear that the inspiration for Nadia was Bond, and that she would do the heavy lifting,” Chopra Jonas says. She welcomes the gender swap, especially given how male-dominated the genre has historically been. “It’s fun to be doing the a**kicking and the cool lines and walking away from an explosion,” she says with some delight. “I always wanted to walk away from an explosion!”… The role was the highest degree of difficulty, but that is how Chopra Jonas likes it. “At this point in my career, ’I’m looking for heavy lifts,” she says. “I’m looking for challenges. I’ve learned enough about the craft and about the job that I want to flex my muscles and I want to find thoughts that I can sink my teeth into. Citadel was definitely that.”

On how this May marks her second Mother’s Day since welcoming her daughter, Malti Marie, though she prefers to keep the focus on her own mother figures—not just her mom, but also the grandmother who looked after her while her mother earned a master’s degree and the aunties who took her in during her formative years in the U.S.: “I’ve had incredible influences of moms in my life, and now with my mother-in-law [Denise Miller-Jonas] who’s this epic, amazing woman,” she says. “I’ve not been a mom long enough to be able to take the celebration, but I love to celebrate the moms in my life on Mother’s Day.”

On being a mother to Malti Marie: “She’s got me wrapped around her finger. I don’t even know how I’ll ever discipline her because I just don’t have it in me. I was so close to losing her so many times that she can get away with anything and I just want to see her happy. I want her to be the happiest. She’s a super smiley, happy baby, and that’s all my goal is—to see her joyous. Every time she smiles, it lights up my world, and that’s all I want to do.”

On what has surprised her about being a mother: “Just how much you can love something and how viciously you’ll protect it,” she says. “I’ve seen my mom rip people when I’ve been hurt and I just never understood it. I was like, ‘Mom, chill out. What are you doing?’ Now I get it. I would take someone out.” Which isn’t to say she wants to shield her daughter from the world. “I was never left at home with a nanny; I was always with family and friends. I think I had a sense of confidence because I was always around people who loved me, so we’ve really tried to emulate that. Malti is always with her family and she can go anywhere with us. It was very important to us to be able to expose her to just life and its beautiful gifts.”

On how splitting the domestic load is something she and her husband Nick Jonas have done naturally: “We just feel a sense of contribution when it comes to the not-fun stuff. I don’t remember having a conversation where I’m like, ‘I need you to do more of this.’ We both have careers that are important to us, so we split our time in a way where one of us is able to do the house things or be with the baby.” Whether it is a relationship with a partner, family, or a friend, she says, acts of service are her love language. “When you really care about someone, you try to alleviate whatever pressure is on them by doing some of the chores or by taking on something that they always do. It’s simple things: I love coffee in bed, and my husband realized that, and now I always have coffee in bed. That support is tremendously important, but it’s a two-way street. You have to be able to give that love and support to the people that also give you that kind of support. If you see your partner doing something every day that seems boring for them, just surprise them by doing it. It’s the sweetest thing in a marriage.”


[Photo Credit: for ELLE Magazine]

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