Deepika Padukone - the b-town glam quotient has grown in leaps and bounds.. Today she stands confidently and speaks about her work with an elan. With four films set for a release this year she looks back on her career and her choice of films and proudly states that she is not afraid of healthy competition. Producers and director vie for her and do our bollywood heroes. Indiaglitz speaks to the hot tall and beautiful Deepika Padukone...
Do you bestow credit to Shah Rukh Khan for having giving you chance in films?
I have been very fortunate that I got to debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan and to be directed by Farah Khan in my very first film. I am happy to be working with good people and they are the cream of bollywood. I did not have any backing no industry background. All the backing I got was from my parents who are utmost importance to me. I have worked with the best of directors and actors who have always supported me in different roles and it's a privilege. I am thankful to God for giving me such opportunities in life.
Who has been your biggest strength in life?
Undoubtedly my parents they are my strength because they allowed me to move out of home at such a young age to pursue my passion and profession. No doubt I have worked hard to achieve what I have today. It was not easy because I was not from the industry and this was an alien environment. It was challenging meeting different people and making friends. It has been a great learning experience. Today by the grace of God I am getting challenging roles.
Earlier Priyanka was supposed to play your role in Race and then Sonakshi. Finally you came on board. Do you think this will affect your career?
I think any actor doing a film is for certain reasons. It's his destiny. Ultimately the audience will remember the actor who is in the film when they watch the film. They will not bother as to who signed the film or who left the film. It's the actor who is in the film that will be remembered.
Playing grey shades?
I didn't identify with the character. It's not a negative character. You don't feel that she is a bad girl at the end of the film. I feel people should not take actors who play negative roles so seriously. I remember in the past certain actors were considered to be bad if they did a negative role. However we are actors and we crave for good roles. . Audience needs to turn mature enough not to compare the actors to their real character in real. In the film I am a seductress and use my beauty and intelligence to achieve my motto. All The characters in the film have negative shades. People will love me in this role. I bet my last penny walking out of the theatres you guys will walk out with love filled in your hearts for me!
Cocktail too had grey shades?
It is risky doing such roles. You have to be careful. They are tough when compared to simple rom- coms like Love Aaj Kal. I love taking up challenges. I had an author backed role in Cocktail. In my next Chennai Express which is a rom-com again but my character is different to my role of veronica in Cocktail. The perception of the audience towards me has changed now. You will not get to see the same Deepika everywhere.
How do you foresee 2013?
2013 is a very organized and a happening year for me. I have three films up my sleeve and I have consciously singed different challenging characters. There's Rohit Shetty's Chennai Express opposite Shah Rukh Khan where I play a Tamilian girl. I speak with a south Indian accent. There will be lot of cars and action. It's more of a romantic comedy. Then there's Ayan Mukherjee's Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani opposite Ranbir where I play a simple next door girl with a school girl kind of look. I have Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Ram Leela where I play a Gujarati girl.
Working with Saif?
The chemistry is very different and so Is the film. Cocktail and Love Aaj Kal were urban rom-coms. where as this one is an action thriller.
Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the first time?
It is going to be my benchmark film. I was lucky the role fell into my lap. It's a God sent opportunity. I never expected to work with him so early in my life. It's a fact that films are his life and he loves only two things his mother and his films. He liked me because I share his mother's name in the film hence he shares a different love for me Sanjay Leela always loves to do good as well as brilliant films. He is not eccentric but he is passionate about his movies and that passion flows into his films. I think that's why he makes such classics.
You have a strange animosity with Kareena Kapoor?
There is no animosity between Kareena and me. We meet occasionally in some party, and we meet very cordially.
How was the experience of having working with Rajnikant?
It was a great experience. He has achieved so much yet he is so humble. I have got to learn that from him. He is a simple man, and has no airs of being the super star.
You were nominated with Vidya and Sridevi for awards?
I am indeed privileged to get nominated alongside Sridevi and Vidya. As an actor I believe in a healthy competition. Award will happen when they have to happen.
Heard your dad gifted you his trophy?
Yes he was impressed with my role in Cocktail. We watched the film in Delhi for the first time and he cried but he didn't say anything. When he went to Bangalore he went to watch the film again all alone and he messaged me. My dad is very bullish and mom is more practical. He's emotional and always says nice things to me. When he came to Mumbai he gave one of his first awards he had won. This is the biggest award for me.
How does stardom feel at such a young age?
I feel like any other girl in this city. Unlike them I have chosen this profession. I only consider in performing my arts doing 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.
How was your camaraderie with Ranbir Kapoor?
Working with him again is like working with any other stars. We share no awkwardness .One needs to learn to go ahead in life and be able to live with the changes occurred in one's life. We have indeed behaved in a much matured manner and that I suppose is life.