Being badminton legend Prakash Padukone’s daughter — and having played the sport at state level herself — Deepika Padukone’s name often comes up when badminton is discussed within the film industry. Recently, too, with reports rife that Mahesh Bhatt is planning a biopic on Saina Nehwal, the ace shuttler had apparently said that she thought Deepika could do justice to her story on screen.
Ask Deepika if she and her father have discussed the possibility of her portraying Saina in a film, and she says, “No, but having said that, while we’re on the topic, it’s sad that it takes a film for people to sit up and notice other sports. I wish we had more champions. Also, I wish we had better facilities for athletes in various sports to make them (their sports) popular without a movie having to be made.”
At the same time, the actor is flattered that Saina spoke of her. “I think it’s really kind of her. I feel extremely honoured to know that she thinks I am capable of doing justice to it. Let’s see (smiles). There’s no concrete offer as such. But I also realise that it’s a massive responsibility (to play Saina),” says Deepika.
Although the actor hasn’t been offered a film of this sort yet, Deepika doesn’t know if she would be game to star in it. “Saina is a youth icon and has inspired a lot of people. I will tackle it (offer) if it comes to me,” she says. The actor and the badminton player have known each other for a while, but Deepika admits that she hasn’t spoken to her after her win at the Australian Open Super Series last month. “I tweeted about it (Saina’s win), but I haven’t had the chance to speak to her. I’m glad she performed well,” she says.
Upcoming films on sportspersons
Boxing: Priyanka Chopra will play Mary Kom in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali-produced biopic.
Football: John Abraham will star in Shoojit Sircar’s film based on Mohun Bagan’s victory against their British opponents to lift the IFA Shield in 1911.
Wrestling: Reportedly, Sohail Khan and John Abraham will play the yesteryear wrestler Gama Pehlwan in two different films by Puneet Issar and Parmeet Sethi.
Hockey: Apparently, a biopic on Indian hockey wizard Dhyan Chand is being planned by producer Pooja Shetty.
Martial arts: Akshay Kumar is planning to make a full-fledged movie on martial arts. The film is in the scripting stage right now.