After six years in the industry, Deepika Padukone is riding high on the success of back-to-back hits. She’s currently ruling the box office, but the actor claims that she’s not doing anything different in her career and refutes reports that claim she’s dating her Ram-Leela co-star Ranveer Singh.
How does it feel to be in the top spot with multiple successful films this year?
It doesn’t feel any different. The effort, energy and hard work I’ve put into every film has been the same. I appreciate and read about it (the success), but nothing will change because of these tags or labels given to me now.
How do you look back on your Bollywood journey so far?
I’ve had my own ups and downs, and tried to figure out what I really want to do. I’ve figured out films I want to do, people I want to work with and, more importantly, have clarity about myself. It’s been more about understanding who I am. I’ve learnt everything on film sets, as I never underwent any formal training in acting.
Your pairing with Ranbir Kapoor has the potential to become as popular as the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol pair.
That’s a huge compliment. You admire on-screen pairs such as Rekha-Amitabhji (Bachchan) and Shah Rukh-Kajol, and it’s nice to know that Ranbir and I have that kind of on-screen equation. We’ve looked up to these people and aspired to be like them. They are the quintessential on-screen pairs. Chemistry is important in love stories, and both Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and my next film are in that genre.
Much has been written about the equation between you and Ranveer. Are you dating him?
There’s always speculation surrounding a romantic film. These types of stories are inevitable. We’ve not shied away from the fact that we’re comfortable in each other’s company and that we hang out together. But people shouldn’t jump to conclusions. For a long time now, I haven’t been in the space, mentally, to be in a relationship or something serious. People should stop assuming that I’m in one.
Film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known to be a taskmaster. How tough was he during Ram-Leela?
The toughest thing for me was his way of directing — the fact that he’s very unpredictable as a director and expects nothing less than magic from his actors. Every day was like a new day; he would change scenes, lines, so as an actor he really keeps you on your toes.
Most Bhansali heroines have powerful, memorable roles that become the role of their career. Do you think Ram-Leela will do that for you?
The only thing that excited me when I took on the film was the fact that I was going to work with Sanjay, who is known for the performances that he has drawn from his actors. That’s the way I go about choosing my films. I never think about the end result.
People feel you are looking your sexiest in the film.
(Laughs) I can’t analyse myself like that. If people feel so, then I thank them. The reactions for the trailer were mostly about our (Ranveer Singh and her) on-screen chemistry. But if people are complimenting me for the way I look or have performed in the film, it also comes from what he has given me as a co-star.
With success, big films and praise, you seem to have a lot going for you. Do you agree?
People might believe that I have a perfect life, but I’ve made my own sacrifices. I have had my own share of struggles. My biggest sacrifice is that I don’t live with my family. Living alone there are days when I come home and miss them terribly.