Although she’s a successful Bollywood star, there’s no denying that Deepika Padukone could have been a sports icon too. The actor, who is badminton ace Prakash Padukone’s daughter, has played the sport at national level in her teens.
One, then, would expect the actor to be elated about the recent surge in biopics based on sportspersons. But she has another take. “It’s nice that so many biopics are being made, and they are leading to more awareness. But why do we have to wait for a movie to learn more about the sportsperson or sport? It just shows that we don’t encourage our athletes enough,” says Deepika, who feels that athletes and their achievements must be highlighted from a young age.
“If we start writing and talking about them early in their careers, it will be much easier to create awareness about various sports and their champions,” says the actor, who feels that the state of sports in India is 'definitely much better' compared to what it was about four-five years back, largely owing to the numerous leagues coming up. “Also, I feel the media has a huge part to play in making people aware of our champions. It’s not just cricket, we have so many other sports,” she adds.
Bring up the recent Mary Kom biopic and Deepika says she knew of the boxer 'before the film came out'. “But people didn’t know who Mary was. Four-five years back, I think she was a three-time world champion. Now, she is four- or five-time world champion. So, when Priyanka (Chopra) did the film, I thought it would be great as everyone would get to know her,” says the actor.
Although she hasn’t been offered any sport-based biopic yet, Deepika is happy that Saina Nehwal suggested that the actor should play her, if ever a film about the badminton star is planned.