Priyanka Chopra, Richard Madden on teaming up for 'Citadel': We balance each other out beautifully
Actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden say they had each other's back while working on Prime Video's much-anticipated international series "Citadel"
Actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden say they had each other's back while working on Prime Video's much-anticipated international series "Citadel".
The action-spy thriller show is produced by Amazon Studios and the Russo Brothers' AGBO banner with David Weil attached as showrunner.
The story follows elite agents Mason Kane (Madden) and Nadia Sinh (Chopra Jonas), who had their memories wiped as they narrowly escaped with their lives after independent global spy agency Citadel's fall.
Madden, best known for internationally acclaimed shows "Game of Thrones" and "Bodyguard", said working with Chopra Jonas was a delight.
"I loved working with Priyanka every day because she keeps me present. We both prepare properly before we engage in something. I can overthink things and Priyanka was always great at ringing me right back into the room and being so present and allowing us to really play together. That's kind of in many ways like the characters in the show," the Scottish star said on Monday at the Asia-Pacific press conference of "Citadel" here.
"We balance each other out beautifully and bring out the best in each other and couldn't ask for a better dancing partner," he added.
The show sees Mason and Nadia building new lives under new identities, unaware of their pasts. Until one night, when Mason is tracked down by his former Citadel colleague, Bernard Orlick (Stanley Tucci), who desperately needs his help to prevent rival agency Manticore from establishing a new world order.
Mason seeks out Nadia, his former partner, and the two spies embark on a mission that takes them around the world in an effort to stop Manticore, all while contending with a relationship built on secrets, lies, and a dangerous-yet-undying love, the official synopsis read.
For Chopra Jonas, working on a layered script like "Citadel" required her and Madden to support each other.
"Because our script is extremely... It has many layers and there's a lot going on... We protect each other and we have each other's backs... We were not trying to trip each other up. We were not trying to point something bad out. We were truly there to support each other because we knew that the show is about the two of us together and the better we dance together, the better the show will work," the Indian star added.
She said the series was offered to her almost five years ago and they started shooting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which made the whole process even more taxing.
"It's physically demanding, emotionally demanding. We shot in COVID times. We invested a lot of ourselves in the show. And that's why we are so excited to share it with the world. I think I left a part of my spirit in it, a part of my soul in it," the National Award winner added.
The most fun part, Chopra Jonas said, was finishing the shoot that went on for almost a year and a half.
"My most fun memory of the show is when we wrapped it," she quipped. "It was a demanding show. I felt a sense of achievement once we wrapped it." High-octane action sequences are just one aspect of the show, added the lead stars. Madden said these characters are "complicated".
"I feel how much they are damaged in certain ways in order to choose this kind of life... These are really complicated, intricate humans who do kill people, do bad things, and have questionable moral judgments. They're complicated," he said.
And outside of all the "flashy action", the show has a lot of heart, added Chopra Jonas.
"The show has so much heart because our characters can't stop being drawn to each other. That just makes for a good TV show. At least that's what I felt when I watched the whole show," she said.
"Citadel" will act as the flagship show that will blend with local shows already under production in Italy and India, starring Matilda De Angelis, Varun Dhawan, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu, respectively.
Asked if she would like to give any advice to her Indian colleagues, Chopra Jonas said she is positive that the installment, which has filmmaker duo Raj & DK as showrunners, will be top notch.
"I don't think I can give them any advice. They're both such accomplished actors in their own ways," she said, adding that she met Dhawan recently and they discussed the shoot of the Indian chapter.
Raj & DK, who previously collaborated with Prime Video on successful series such as “The Family Man” and "Farzi", also serve as directors on the upcoming show.
"There are some really cool threads that led to the other installments to our installment so we've been talking about those. You will find out when you will start watching the show. But I can't wait to see that because I think Raj & DK as filmmakers are so amazing and talented. They're going to bring their own spin to the Indian installment," Chopra Jonas said.
Madden said he is hopeful that the team behind the Indian version are having lots of fun.
"There is such wonderful talent in the Indian version of our show, and each one is going to be different to the country. I think that's what's going to be beautiful is that everyone is finding their own version of that. We are still learning as we go. So, I just hope to have lots of fun," he added.
"Citadel" will premiere on Prime Video globally on April 28.