Deepika Padukone never aspired to be a Bollywood actor and was always interested in modelling and the fashion industry, says her father. The model-turned actress shot to spotlight with the success of her first film Om Shanti Om (OSO), co-starring Shah Rukh Khan.
"She was always interested in modelling in the fashion industry. We knew that her interest was towards that (modelling) and she had done a few ads when she was still in school... Films were not anywhere on her mind initially," recalls Prakash Padukone, former badminton champion.
"She wanted to be a model. And it was only when she was modelling, I think somewhere down the line, that she decided she would try her hand in acting also," he told PTI.
Asked whether he had any regrets on his daughter not taking up a sports career, Padukone said, "We, both me and my wife, believe in encouraging our children in whatever they are interested in not imposing our views. That way, they excel when you enjoy whatever you do".
"So, we were very sure that we would encourage them in whatever field. That's also been our experience in the past. You push somebody into something which you want them to be, then both will be disappointed," he said.
Life has not been the same again for the 22-year-old actress after she struck it big in her maiden venture. But her dad wants her to remain humble, focused and not get carried away by the new-found celebrity status.
"I believe she has good potential. But a lot depends on her. She has to be very focused, disciplined, dedicated and concentrate on her work. Because we have seen in a lot of other fields also.... Having potential is one thing. But all of them (with potential) don't necessarily make it to what they are capable of," Padukone said.
Padukone said initially he wasn't sure if Deepika had landed a lead role opposite Shah Rukh Khan in OSO.
"Initially, we were not sure whether it would actually happen. But Deepika was fully convinced. We thought she might get a small role. We didn't know what the story was."
"Then, she told us, she will be the heroine and Shah Rukh Khan will be the hero. Then, the film got postponed for a while. So, we were not sure whether it would actually happen. She waited for one-and-half years. She knew that it was a big break for her," Padukone reminisced.