EXCLUSIVE | Deepika Padukone on ‘Padmavati’: It is sad that I have to justify my actions – Deepika Padukone on Padmavati and the other things that make her happy
Padmavati marks Deepika Padukone’s 10th year in Bollywood. And despite the controversies surrounding the film, Bollywood’s numero uno actress is gung-ho about it because, to her, it is much more than just another film. A candid chat with the actress:
Your two co-actors, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are apparently miffed with you because you landed up alone at a promotional event of Padmavati…
It is so childish and sad that I have to sit here and justify my actions. My being there that particular day to launch the 3D trailer of Padmavati was something spontaneous. My director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted me to be there. And it was important for my director that I was there. He has given up a day meant for shooting, when we are fighting against time to complete the film and asked me to go. You know how important each day is when a film is being completed. And he chose to let me go for this event, because that is what he wanted. That is what he needed. I was just following his instructions the same way I would do whatever he asked me to do on set.
You recently celebrated your 10-year journey in Bollywood with fans. How does it feel to be on top of your game today?
Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that 10 years have gone by. One of the life-lessons my father (Prakash Padukone) gave me when I started out was that getting to the top may not be as hard as staying there. For some reason, that thought keeps coming back to me. And today, I understand what he said. It has not been easy. At the same time, I value everything that I have today because I have worked very hard to get to where I am. There have been struggles, sacrifices, immense amount of dedication and discipline that I have given to my career because I love what I do so much. I value what I have because it has not come easy. In the initial years of my career, I faced a lot of criticism. But I have never been afraid to take risks, to acknowledge that there might be areas that I need to work on. I had made my weakness my strength and worked further to enhance my strengths and to keep on learning.
Has superstardom affected your daily life in more ways than one?
If I break it down to the brass-tacks, I don’t really think that much of my stardom or status. I’m a regular girl who wakes up each morning and goes to work. It is as simple and basic as that. I run my own home, the way anyone else may run their home. I am a self-made woman. I moved out of home at a very young age. So, I always knew how to juggle my professional and personal responsibilities. Personal life doesn’t only mean relationships. It means juggling your family time, it means running a home. Taking care of your staff, of your plumber or carpenter or electrician. When I break it down, my life is no different from anyone else’s.
What is a regular day in the life of Deepika like?
I wake up in the morning and the first thing I look forward to is my work-out because it gives me immense happiness. That is actually my ‘me’ time. Once that is over, I go out and do the work I am assigned to. I am also grateful that for a large part of my growing up years, I was an athlete and that has taught me so much. A lot of discipline and dedication and my need for feeling healthy comes from the fact that I was an athlete when I was younger and in many ways, I still see myself as one.
Is exercise your only way to unwind?
I have different ways of unwinding. I connect with my family every two to three days. This is something I look forward to.
You have signed just one film after Padmavati? Is this deliberate?
I am not in any hurry. I have never been excited about the number of releases I might have in a year. I have had 2013, in which I had four releases and 2016, where I didn’t have a single release. I look forward to working with my favourite Irrfan again in Vishal Bhardwaj sir’s next. Frankly, when you work on a film like Padmavati, it takes up a lot of time. And then as I said, I’m in no hurry.