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Priyanka Chopra Explains Her Baywatch Villain

Priyanka Chopra says that her Baywatch villain is a "woman in a man's world," which is fitting, considering the fact that the part was originally written for a man. Director Seth Gordon recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the part of Victoria Leeds was written for a male actor, but Chopra's performance impressed him so much that he decided to gender swap the part.

"As soon as I spoke to her, I knew she could do it," he said. "I really loved the idea of Dwayne [Johnson] going up against a female antagonist. Her approach is purely psychological. It's about outsmarting, it's about out-winning, it's about taking advantage of the male ego, all that stuff... She really was just a much more interesting person for him to go up against, because it wasn't going to be just brawn or grit."

For Chopra, Victoria's intense but under-the-radar style of villainy was exactly what drew her to the part, with the Quantico star saying that the character "has a point to prove." "She's not just a random woman with money, she's self-made," Chopra said. "This is not just drugs and money for her, it's power. That's the cause."

Victoria isn't very impressed with the lifeguards she's facing off against, but Chopra was, with the actress having the chance to act opposite the likes of Johnson and Zac Efron. Johnson, she said, was so hilarious that it was often hard for her to keep a straight face while filming– especially in one scene, where he quips back at her that he is "Baywatch, motherf**er." "The first time he did it, I was trying so hard to be serious, because I have a gun pointed at him," Chopra said. "And he just says all of those things, and I think I started laughing and then he started laughing and then Zac started laughing and it was just... It was very hard to keep a straight face."

Chopra, a big fan of the Baywatch TV series as a kid, was also excited for the chance to be a part of a franchise known for it's slow-mo, saying that she used the series as inspiration for all of her slow motion acting during her Bollywood career. "You can't help but enjoy yourself," she said of the chance to be a part of the action comedy. "There's so much in the world that's happening right now that's dark and heavy, and I think people need a reason to smile. You want a break from the news for a second. Somewhere you want to believe in humanity and people and good over evil, and just laugh. Baywatch gives you all of that."

Baywatch is due out on May 25. While we wait, see some of the other movie releases that you won't want to miss this year.