Deepika Padukone credits Shah Rukh Khan and Farah Khan for giving her a break in Bollywood. “I was lucky to have got a debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan. It was indeed a pleasure to be directed by Farah for my very first film. I am happy to get to work with all the nice people, who are the crème-de-la-crème of Bollywood, despite not having any backing as such.”
“However, I feel the backing that I got from my parents is of utmost importance to me Having worked with directors and actors who have always supported me in different roles is also a blessing from God. My parents are my biggest strength because they allowed be to move to Mumbai and pursue my passion and profession. I too have worked hard and it is not easy to adapt to a totally different environment and meeting different challenges was a learning experience.”
On trying different roles, some with shades of grey, she says, “Donning different roles is destiny. I think also if any actor is in a film and, due to certain reasons, is unable to perform then I guess at the initial stage it makes for good gossip. But, eventually when the film releases, people know the character better for their performances and they forget the past.
There was a time when people thought a person portraying a bad character was bad in real life. However, we are actors and preferably crave for good roles. Whatever roles we perform we are not the same in real. Audiences need to turn mature enough not to compare the actors to their real character in real.”
“On reel in ‘Race 2’ I am a seductress. I use my beauty and intelligence to achieve my aim. All the characters in the film have a hidden agenda and are ready to betray the others. I may be playing a negative shade in the film but you guys will love me for what I do. I bet my last penny that while walking out of the theatres you guys will walk love me. In real I do not identify with the character because I never charm people wrongly,” she smiles and adds.
Having done films like ‘Luv Aaj Kal’, ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Race 2’ which are roles with negative shades she says, “Doing such risky kinds of roles you love to do more of it. These characters are challenging enough and have to played very carefully. They are tougher to be performed when compared to simpler roles. Challenging roles do attract me a lot hence I have accepted them. I am very happy that I have got to perform such different and challenging roles. These characters enrich my experiences to a great extent.”
She adds, “My role in ‘Cocktail’ was an author-backed role. My role in ‘Chennai Express’ is a rom-com but the character is different to my role of Veronica in ‘Cocktail’. 2013 is a very organized and a happening year for me. In ‘Yeh Jawani Hey Diwani’ I play a simple and easy role which is that of a school-going girl. I play a simple girl-next-door role. Another character I play in ‘Ram Leela’ is again a Guajarati girl’s role. I speak Guajarati in this film while for ‘Chennai Express’ I learnt Tamil. All my characters are different to what I am in real life. I can identify with my character in the second half of ‘Ram Leela’. This is going to be a benchmark film by director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.”
She adds that she is happy to have got an opportunityt o work with Bhansali. “I am happy that this role literally fell into my lap. It is a god sent role for me. It is like a dream come true. Sanjay sir says films and his mother are his life. I have the name of his mom in ‘Ram Leela’, hence he loves the character a lot.”
Deepika denies any animosity with Kareena Kapoor, “We meet occasionally at some party, and are very cordial.”
She adds that she is in awe of Rajinikanth. “Working with him was a great experience. The amount of accolades he has achieved in life for his work he comes with a great humble impressions. We have to learn lot from him.” He is a simple man, and has no airs of being the super star.”
On having lost the Filmfare award to Vidya Balan she says, “I am indeed privileged to get nominated alongside Sridevi and Vidya. Normally, as an actor I believe in healthy competition believe in working hard. Awards will happen when they have to.”
She feels that the award she got from her dad was the best. “I watched ‘Cocktail’ with my father and mother in Bangalore and they turned very emotional. My mom will always give her opinion bluntly. But my dad is very emotional and always gives away some emotional advice. He then re-watched the movie while he was in Delhi. This time he cried while watching the movie. And when came to meet me he gave away one of his awards to me. This is the biggest award for me.”
On having achieved stardom at an early age of 27 she says, “I feel like any other girl my age. I have chosen this profession. I only consider in performing my arts to the best of my abilities. All others are engaged in their jobs similarly I feel I am just doing mine with utmost perfection. Everyone’s profession is best for them. And I think we need to love our work.”
About her ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor she says, “Working with again is like working with any other star. We share no awkwardness. One needs to move on in life and be able to live with the changes occurred in one’s life. We have indeed behaved in a very matured manner and that I suppose is life.”
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