Ever since Cocktail (2012), Deepika Padukone has often played challenging roles. She recently wrapped up an action-laden Hollywood venture, XXX: Return of Xander Cage, and her last stint on the big screen was Bajirao Mastani (2015). The actor is now preparing for another challenging part in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. HT Café asks Deepika about her choice of roles and how she approaches them.
It seems you are choosing one tough role after another.
It’s not a conscious decision. Those are the kind of roles that have been coming my way. You can call it my instincts or the timing, but that’s what I’m also attracted to. I think there’s a time and place for everything, so it’s not like I consciously pursue a film like Padmavati. It landed in my lap, and I think certain films are destined to have you in them. Either ways, destiny plays a major role, as certain films aren’t meant for you.
Do you feel that Padmavati is going to be a challenging part to play?
There are so many times when you want to do a particular film and you try everything under the sun to make it work, but it doesn’t. This one just fell in my lap, and it’s so exciting that I have been given an opportunity to play such a powerful role. Padmini is someone who is worshipped by so many people. [The film] is something that I am extremely proud of, and I feel very lucky that something like this came my way. It’s going to be a very tough six months (smiles).
Do such challenging roles take a toll on you?
Yes, but every actor has a different way of approaching their work, their roles, how they recuperate [after wrapping up the film], and how they get into their next project. I also follow a certain system and I am ready to take this [film] head on.
Are you aware that audiences would love to see you in films like Tamasha (2015) or Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)?
I don’t know if this is on the record or off the record (laughs), but I would love to [do such films]. Those are the kind of films I grew up watching, and so, every now and then, I love doing romantic movies — the rom-coms or pure love stories. I love that the [audience wants me to do such films].
Watch: xXx: Return of Xander Cage | Trailer #2
Hema Malini has called you the new-age ‘dream girl’…
I think that’s an amazing compliment, since it’s coming from her. I feel extremely great. I feel happy when people like Sridevi and Hemaji appreciate my work, because I love the way they have conducted themselves, the way they have carried themselves, and the kind of work they have done, personally and professionally. So, it’s amazing to be complemented by such legends.
Women put up a great show at the recently concluded Rio Olympics. Are you excited about it as you were a sportsperson too?
Yes, it’s definitely heartening to see the country do so well. For me, it’s not about women or men doing well at the world stage. What’s important for me is that we look at it as the nation’s achievement. And so, of course, we are extremely proud of the medals we have won for the nation.