Priyanka Chopra was 21 when she made her Bollywood debut opposite Sunny Deol (also starring Preity Zinta) in the movie, The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. The movie didn’t do quite well at the Box Office, and the actress’ role largely went unnoticed. Since then, PeeCee, as she is fondly called, has certainly come a long way, capturing our attention over the years with some memorable performances. In a career that spans almost a decade and a half, Priyanka has proven, time and again, that she is someone who can carry a film on her shoulders if need be and not only do a fine job at it, but also take our breath away.

Today, the Indian beauty has become a force to reckon with on the global platform, with a successful running American drama thriller series, titled Quantico, that’s now in its third season; a widely appreciated Hollywood debut with the movie, Baywatch, followed by two other Hollywood films lined up for release next year; and an enviable career in Bollywood having won prestigious awards such as the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Shri, the National Award and other coveted trophies for her performances over the years. As the actress turns a year older today, we look back at some of her best performances that have made her the star she now is.  Following are the five Bollywood movies of the superstar, that we believe are her best till date and definitely account for a must watch. (ALSO READ: No sufficient time to produce music: Priyanka Chopra)

Aitraaz (2004)


This movie that released in 2004 was the turning point in Priyanka’s acting career. Before that, the actress’ movies weren’t doing that well at the Box Office. In this Abbas-Mustan film, starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in lead roles, Priyanka essayed the role of an antagonist. The movie is based on the story of a man (Akshay) accused of sexual harrassment by his boss’ wife, Sonia Roy (Priyanka). At one point in the movie, the audience develop a strong feeling of hatred towards Priyanka and it’s precisely here, where Priyanka outshines as a vamp. The movie was widely appreciated for its bold subject. It also did commercially well, grossing over Rs 260 million at the box office against a budget of Rs. 110 million and even won Priyanka the 50th Filmfare award for the best actress in a negative role, among other accolades. (ALSO READ:Not Just Act, Priyanka Chopra To Also Produce Hollywood Films)

7 Khoon Maaf (2011)


 Based on Ruskin Bond’s short story ‘Susanna’s Seven Husbands’, the movie undoubtedly ended up as a milestone in Priyanka’s career graph. Similar to all good and pragmatic crime and emotion driven movies, this one too displays the protagonist as a woman with a motive. You may see her use poisonous snakes and mushrooms and load guns to kill her husbands, but despite all her misdemeanours, you won’t find yourself blaming her. That’s because somewhere along her murky and treacherous journey, Priyanka as Susanna carries the agony of every woman disparaged: either by a wife-thrashing husband, a druggie husband, a disloyal husband, a murderous husband, a domineering husband, a ruthless husband, or as a husband who uses his wife only for sex. You almost find yourself agreeing with her character—‘a poor soul who has no choice but to put an end to her pain, in any way possible.’ In this, 2011 Indian black comedy film directed, co-written and co-produced by Vishal Bhardwaj, Priyanka showcases admirable rule over a complicated character such as Sussana. Her ingenious and discreet portrayal of a desolate and oppressed woman who only wanted love out of her life, was outstanding, to say the least. Although the movie didn’t do well at the box office, it was critically acclaimed. PeeCee also bagged the 57th Filmfare Award for the Best Actress Critic Choice Category. (ALSO READ: Priyanka Chopra to become an Academy Awards member?)

Fashion (2008)


With no strong male lead in the movie, Fashion reached the heights it did, solely because of Priyanka whose stingingly real performance carried the movie to its success. There’s a part in the Madhur Bhandarkar film that showcases a distressed Priyanka who’s compelled to terminate her pregnancy. It’s almost heartbreaking to watch her go through the sorrow and humiliation and that’s where Priyanka’s impeccable acting prowess comes to light. Her role in the film is forthright and intuitive, to say the least, and it’s her gradual transformation from an innocent and ambitious girl to a directionless single woman without any emotional anchor is what won her several accolades. A gutsy move in her career, Priyanka’s role as an aspiring model, Megha Mathur, in Fashion not only won her the Filmfare award for the Best Actor in a Female Role but also the National Award. (ALSO READ:Priyanka Chopra’s in talks for yet another international project?)

Barfi (2012)


As Jhilmil, in Anurag Basu’s directorial venture, Barfi, Priyanka Chopra is excellent in her portrayal as an autistic girl and throughout the movie she is never seen over-exaggerate her role. Her mannerisms, body language or the innocence that she brings to her on screen character is just outstanding. There is this one particular part in the movie where Jhilmil wants to relieve herself and being autistic she obviously needs help. She can’t seem to express what she wants. It’s perhaps incidental that Ranbir Kapoor’s on screen character ,Murphy (‘Barfi’) Johnson, understands what she needs. But her portrayal as an embarrassed Jhilmil who at the same time is relieved to know that there is someone there to care for her tugs at your heart strings. It is definitely not easy to essay an autistic person on screen, but Priyanka seemed to have done it effortlessly. In this movie, she absolutely lets go of her usual glamour avatar and puts in a genuine effort to make you forget that you’re watching Priyanka Chopra. Needless to say, the movie won her several accolades for her phenomenal role. (ALSO READ: Priyanka Chopra’s role in A Kid Like Jake will leave you SHOCKED)

Mary Kom (2014)


Priyanka Chopra certainly didn’t look like the real life Mary Kom in this movie. Featuring her in a film on the exemplary Indian woman boxer was like asking Tiger Shroff to play Mohammad Ali. And while we had our doubts of the actress being able to pull off the role, when she didn’t even look the part, PeeCee surprised us once again. The determination and relentless focus of this Indian beauty, much like the iconic sportswoman she was portraying on screen, dazzled through eventually in her performance. In order to slip into the skin of her on-screen character, Priyanka underwent rigorous training and also learnt boxing in the process. However, it was not only the way she aced the ‘punching’ of Mary Kom, but also the emotional severity with which she displayed Kom’s love for her husband and her children that brought life to her character. Additionally, the film marked the Hindi playback singing debut of PeeCee, who provided her vocals for a song named “Chaoro”. Priyanka triumphed both physically and mentally in more ways than one for this movie, as she won the Screen Award and the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. (ALSO READ: Not Just Bollywood And Hollywood, Priyanka Chopra Wants To Win The World!)

Well, we will be looking forward to seeing this talented and beautiful actress surprise us with some interesting roles in the coming future, whether in Hollywood or Bollywood. She is expected to star in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s, Gustakhiyan opposite Irrfan Khan, and while the actress is yet to give her dates for the film, we hope that it happens soon. After all, we all want to see her essay the role of the literary stalwart, Amrita Pritam in the Sahir Ludhianvi biopic. Until then, wishes Priyanka Chopra a very Happy Birthday and hopes to see her become part of more and more interesting projects to leave us inspired and amazed.