With dozens of action movies under her belt—including more than 50 Bollywood films—it’s understandable why fans want to know if Priyanka Chopra did her own stunts in Citadel or if she left most of the action to her double.
Citadel is a science-fiction action thriller set eight years after the destruction of a global spy agency of the same name tasked with upholding the safety and security of the world. Chopra plays Nadia Sinh, a former Citadel special agent whose memories — along with her partner Mason Kane (played by Richard Madden) — are wiped after narrowly escaping death. The series—which is executive produced by the Russo brothers, the directors behind movies like Avengers: Endgame and Captain America: Civil War—follows Nadia and Mason as they uncover their pasts and learn that the identities they’ve been living under for the past eight years were nothing more than a facade. Citadel’s purpose, showrunner David Weil told TVInsider, “is to ensure the well-being of all people.”
Citadel premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 27, 2023. The show also has a storefront on Amazon with items featured and worn in the series, including Nadia’s famous red dress and bag.
In an interview with The New York Post in 2023, Chopra described her Citadel character as a “female James Bond.” “When I met [the Russo brothers, they explained to me what this character was, they wanted to create a female spy that’s like James Bond. I was like, ‘Why would I not do that?’ Of course, I want to do that!” she said.
Chopra also told Digital Spy at the time how her character reinvents the action and spy genre. “As an actor who worked in Indian movies, it was just so exciting for me involved in something so ambitious and pathbreaking. It’s never been attempted in features or television before so I was just like, yes ma’am,” she said. She continued, “Also, the spy genre has been—I love you, Richard—but monopolized by men for a very long time. So we deserve female spies.”
So did Priyanka Chopra do her own stunts in Citadel? Read on for how much of Nadia’s stunts Chopra actually performed in Citadel and the scene that gave her a permanent scar.
Did Priyanka Chopra do her own stunts in Citadel? The answer is yes. In an interview with Variety in April 2023, Chopra—who plays agent Nadia Sinh—confirmed that she performed her own stunts in Citadel despite not wanting to at first. “I didn’t want to do my stunts,” she said. “The mandate from the filmmakers was, ‘We would love for the actors’ faces to be seen as much as you can and where you feel safe.'”
Chopra—who has starred in action movies like The Matrix Resurrections, as well as more than 50 Bollywood movies, most of which are in the action genre—told Variety that her experience with action scenes is why she decided to do her own stunts in Citadel. “I’m someone who has tremendous experience with action movies and action parts. Not just with my TV show, but my Bollywood action movies,” she said. “I was working 15, 20 years ago when I didn’t even have stunt doubles. I had a little man wearing a wig with shaved arms that used to do stunts for me that were too dangerous, because we didn’t even have women at that time. So I learned how to do my stuff.”
Despite her experience, however, Chopra didn’t come away from filming Citadel injury-free. She revealed to Variety that a scene from the series left her with a scar on her left eyebrow after she crashed into a camera. “It was at the end of a rainy London day, and we were losing light so it was, ‘Let’s rush, rush, rush,’” she said. “The ground was wet, and I went an inch in front of where I was supposed to stop. So the camera came an inch closer to me and the matte box took out my eyebrow. But you know, I have a cool scar and a good story to tell. I just put some surgical glue on her and closed her up and finished the day.”
She continued, “I didn’t want to come back and have to do that whole thing again. I was just like, ‘Let’s just get it done.’ I had fake blood and mud and stuff on my face anyway so you couldn’t event tell.”
Chopra also told Access Hollywood at the time why she chose to not use a stunt double for most of Nadia’s action scenes in Citadel. “I’m a girl who from back in the day I’ve done action movies, I trust my body, I know my instincts. You give me resources, I’m going to end up doing most of it as well,” she said. “I mean my sets where padded, I was like alright I have nothing to be afraid of. Let’s get it. It’s my job.” She continued, “This one was a particularly rainy day and I have a scar to remind myself of Citadel for all my life.”
Chopra’s Citadel co-star, Richard Madden, who plays agent Mason Kane, also confirmed to Variety that he did his own stunts in the series. “I’ve got a lot of dull aches,” he said “I’m not as young as I used to be. There’s a lot of stretching that goes on now.” Despite the pain, Madden told the magazine that the stunts were all worth it. “I wanted to do all of the stunts because we’re trying to make the action and the drama intertwined,” Madden said. “I can’t just be like, ‘I’m gonna sit in my trailer and let the stunt man do it.’ They want my face in there because Priyanka and I needed to connect together, and we get to tell a bit of the story in the middle of an action sequence. We don’t want to miss out on that.”
Along with Citadel, Chopra has also starred in ABC’s Quantico from 2015 to 2018, in which she played FBI agent Alex Parrish. She’s also starred in action Bollywood movies like 2006’s Krrish and Don, 2011’s Don 2 and 2012’s Agneepath. In an interview with DNA magazine in 2023, Chopra revealed that she did “80 percent” of her own stunts in Citadel. “I come from the background of doing action films. I have done action films in Bollywood as well. So, I have a lot of confidence in myself when I go toe-to-toe with an amazing stunt team,” she said. “The stunt team for Citadel comes from the Russo Brothers, who have worked with the best in the business. I learnt a lot from them. I am not arrogant. I don’t walk in that I have done so many films so I know everything. I like learning, especially when someone has more experience than me, I like to absorb everything.”
She continued, “Almost 80% of the stunts on the show, I did myself because I trust my body and my instincts. But I learnt a lot and the action that I have done on this show is definitely very different from what I have done before.”
Citadel is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Here’s how to watch it for free.
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