Model-turned-actress Deepika Padukone, who is set for her second release Bachna Ae Haseeno, is feeling ecstatic after topping the popular Maxim Hot 100 girls' worldwide list.
"I really didn't expect it. I'm really excited. People always used to call me either cute or pretty, but no one ever called me sexy. I take it as a compliment," Deepika told IANS.
Although the young actress is flattered by the title, she did not feel even a tad embarrassed.
"There is nothing wrong in being called sexy. I think the term itself has been misunderstood. People think that a person is sexy only if she is wearing tiny clothes. But for me, being sexy is about being mysterious and having your own personality and certainly has nothing to do with a person's fashion sense," she held.
After being a top model, and coming up with a successful debut with super hit Om Shanti Om, Deepika has become a Bollywood star, but she says stardom hasn't affected her as her feet are firmly grounded.
"Stardom has not changed me. I believe I am the same person. I am too new in the industry. I like being in front of the camera and I love acting," said the 22-year-old.
"I'm very close to my parents and they handle my money. I even discuss my work with them every evening," added the actress who is set for her second release, Bachna Ae Haseeno.
While in Om Shanti Om Deepika shared screen space with superstar Shah Rukh Khan, she has been paired opposite real life beau Ranbir Kapoor in Bachna Ae Haseeno. The romantic drama also stars Minissha Lamba and Bipasha Basu and is being directed by Siddharth Anand.
In the film, Deepika plays an NRI girl called Gayatri.
"Gayatri is an independent girl who knows what she wants. She is focussed. She is modern as well as traditional in her thoughts. The role is very similar to the person I am."
The actress, who will be seen with Akshay Kumar in Chandni Chowk To China, says both she and Ranbir are focussing on their career and try to give as much space as possible to each other.
"Right now we are focussing on our career and what we are doing in front of the camera. At the end of the day, we are both actors. One plays a certain character in a film and so we cannot let possessiveness come in between. We have to understand each other."
Having already worked with big banners like Red Chillies Entertainment and Yash Raj Films, will Deepika stick to only big banners in future?
"I want to focus on commercial cinema as of now. But, if I find any offbeat film or a small production house with a good role, I would love to go for it," she said.
She has been roped in to play an important role in Jab We Met fame director Imtiaz Ali's next venture.