The Quantico and Bollywood star said she was overlooked for a role last year because of her "physicality".
"Somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said 'She's the wrong physicality..." Chopra said in the interview with US magazine Instyle.
"I'm like, 'Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to have abs?' And then my agent broke it down for me. 'I think Pry, they meant that they wanted someone who's not brown.' It affected me."
The star also talked about the incident in a video published overnight on the Toronto International Film Festival Twitter account for #EqualPayDay, saying she lost the part because she was "too ethnic".
"It was a mainstream American part...but the reasoning was 'we'd have to explain how an Indian girl is this character in mainstream, like we'd have to explain where her parents came from, what was she doing in America.'
"I didn't realise that that's how hard it was until I came here and now I've really taken it personally and whether it happens to me or it doesn't I really do hope for the future generation they don't have to deal with this because of what me and my colleagues will do."
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) April 10, 2018
In the Instyle interview, Chopra also shares how she has often not received equal pay for Hindi and Hollywood roles, but at least they're more honest about the reason in India.
"A (Hindi-language movie) producer-director said to me 'Well, you know how it is in these big tentpole movies with the big boys. This is the budget for the girl and we can't move beyond that,' which was like a measly five per cent of what [the male lead] was getting.
"It happens in both countries, it's just that here it's hidden behind other things. In America everyone is so worried about being liable that they don't want to say anything wrong, but they end up doing it anyway."
Chopra says more people should live by the principle she does, which was an approach taken by her parents.
"So many of these problems wouldn't exist. I just think merit should be the name of the game. Stop looking at women as women and men as men, just look at us as our ability to deliver at the the job given to us."
Which the Instyle piece says is the approach makers of US film Baywatch took after bagging the star, changing the character originally written for a man to a woman.
Read the original interview here.