Deepika Padukone – Interview

With her very first film Om Shanti Om, Deepika Padukone became a hot property in Bollywood overnight. Rightly so. The lady has a very pretty face, is a good dancer and a promising actress too. After a debut with the hot and happening Shah Rukh Khan’s production house Red Chillies, she’s now entered the Yash Raj Films camp with Bachna Ae Haseeno, opposite none other than real-life beau Ranbir Kapoor. The film, which also stars Bipasha Basu and Minissha Lamba, will hit the screens on August 15.
A rendezvous with the actress ahead of the film’s release:

Is there a special reason why the film is releasing on August 15? How are you feeling?
Well, yes. The film sends the message of love. And what better day than August 15 to send that message across? It also teaches youngsters to learn to work hard and earn their own keep.

What is your role?
I play an NRI who believes in earning and learning at the same time. Freedom is important but you should know not to abuse it. My character is called Gayatri and I would say her personality is very close to my real personality. I started earning when I was just 17 years old. I didn’t even need to earn but my parents wanted me to realise the value of both money and a career.

Did you sign this film because your boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor is in it too?
It is a Yash Raj Films project. Also director Siddharth Anand is a very good friend. Yes, Ranbir was also doing the film. So keeping all this in mind, I said yes.

What would you say is the one thing that draws directors to you?
I guess it’s the fact that my face can fit any look – be it Indian, western or a typical village belle kind of a look.

You played a double role in Om Shanti Om. If you could do a double role in some old flick, which one would you choose?
I would love to do Hema Malini’s role in Sita Aur Gita.

Didn’t you feel jealous when Ranbir was romancing Bipasha and Minissha in the film?
I didn’t really see him romancing them because we didn’t share screen space. Also, the script needed him to romance three different women at various stages of his life. Our job is to live different lives on-screen. Ranbir and I trust each other and because we belong to the same profession, we have to understand these things. I didn’t have any issues with that.

How was the on-screen chemistry between the two of you?
We are both one film old and we have learnt a lot from each other. His take on cinema and his approach is very different since he is worked behind the camera as well. He understands the nuances of filmmaking. It was a give and take thing for both of us. I must tell you that Ranbir is a fantastic dancer. We had a great time working together.

How challenging is your role in Nikhil Advani’s Chandni Chowk To China? How different is it from the one you did in Om Shanti Om?
It’s totally different from the Om Shanti Om role. The Chandni Chowk To China character is extremely challenging. I will be doing action for the first time. I was really excited about doing a double role in this film too. There are a lot of various aspects to the character. I am sorry I can’t tell you more about it at this point.

You’re getting projects with all big banners. How does it feel?
It does feel good. But it also means that expectations from me have risen. Though I have gained a lot of confidence, I still have a long way to go. Success is not all in life. I also want the goodwill of the audiences.

You have done regional cinema. Will you do a regional film if it’s offered to you at this stage? Also, how is regional cinema different from Bollywood?
Why not? I would love to do films in Kannada – my mother tongue. Both Hindi and regional cinema are popular as these films entertain the public and also send them messages. I find southern films more real though.

Which directors are you keen on working with?
The list is long. Mani Ratnam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and many more.

How is acting different from modelling?
They are two different sides of showbiz. Walking the ramp and modelling enhanced my personality. And acting taught me to emote.

What are the things you consider while signing a film?
The banner, the script and of course, the money.

Lipika Varma / Sanskriti Media & Entertainment

© Copyright 2008.

August 13, 2008. Deepika Padukone.

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