If you think your hour-long commute to work is something to gripe about, 33-year-old Bollywood star turned Hollywood star Priyanka Chopra considers airplanes a second home. The actress, singer, and former Miss World flies between India and Los Angeles multiple times a month, juggling shoots for the upcoming Bollywood romance Bajirao Mastani as well as her new ABC show, Quantico.
“I spend at least a couple of days a month, maybe even a full week, on a plane,” she says. “I am currently carrying a stack of six old passports. When the pages run out, I get a new passport and have to carry the old ones that have valid visas. I think I’m in the thousands category with stamps, no joke.” But Chopra takes it in stride—with army doctors as parents, she is no stranger to air travel. "I might have been six months old when I took my first flight. I was born to fly.”
Of course, so much time spent on the road is not without its perils, and Chopra has seen it all. "Yes, I’m talking about 'Mile High'!” she says. “And one of the funniest moments was watching a heavily intoxicated passenger decide to swing from the roof of the first class cabin. Let’s just say that didn’t work out well for him." Weather disruptions and delayed flights are another part of the job. She’s missed a fair few connections and had to sit in an airport for more than 15 hours. "There’s only so much you can do in a lounge and eat or shop at duty free. And because I travel 90 percent of the time for work, knowing that an obligation at my destination has been delayed makes me very anxious.”
But the rewards outweigh the challenges. “I love ‘people watching’ in airports and aircrafts, trying to piece together or create their stories of where they have been or where they are going." And long days spent on set and walking the red carpet mean that much of Chopra’s alone time is found 30,000 feet in the air, where she can truly disconnect. "It’s the best kind of uninterrupted ‘me’ time you can find.” She’s even had a few glamorous moments. "Taking a transatlantic flight on a friend’s private jet with my most favorite people on board is my favorite travel memory," she says. "It was like a big slumber party in the sky. We spent the whole flight in our PJ’s, lounging around, eating, and having a blast."
Her routine for a full day of flying involves changing into pajamas, laying out her laptop, scripts, headphones, chargers, and settling in. “I let the mood of the flight take me along.” When asked about her tricks for surviving the brutal commute, she responded, "Don't try and survive; enjoy it!" But she did give us her essential beauty tips:
"Drink a lot of water—it’s one of the only things that gets me through really long flights. I also moisturize like crazy: face, body, and hands. If possible, get yourself a nice facemask like the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and slap it out about 15-20 minutes before landing. It’s a great moisture boost. And don’t worry, no one is looking!"