Deepika Padukone says her next with Shakun Batra isn’t a light movie: ‘It’s called domestic noir and the audience is ready for it’
Very few actors have managed to carve out their career like Deepika Padukone. In a span of just 13 years, she has zoomed her way to the top, solely on the basis of her talent, and of course, those drop dead gorgeous looks. What also makes her stand out is that she’s a producer too, backing films that aren’t run-of-the-mill. Her hands full currently, we talk to the 34-year old actor about her upcoming slate of films:
After a few emotionally and physically draining films in the last few years, you return to the relatively light hearted zone with Shakun Batra’s next. Was it a much-needed breather?
To be honest, you can’t call Shakun’s film ‘light’ either... Although the overall tonality of the film is slightly lighter than my last film, in terms of inner, emotional turmoil my character goes through, it’s quite challenging. The overall genre of the film is something we haven’t seen much in Indian cinema, it’s called domestic noir. I don’t think that’s a genre we are very familiar with, but at the same time the audience is completely ready for it, as we have been exposed to that genre in different ways, whether through Hollywood films or OTT platforms. What I enjoy and look forward to, as far as this film is concerned, Shakun has this strong point with people and relationships. As an audience/ actor I have enjoyed watching and performing these sort of films, whether Piku (2015), Tamasha (2015), Love Aaj Kal, films that deal with intricate human relationships.
One common thing to many of your films is you always play the titular role, right from Ram Leela (2013), to Padmaavat (2018), Bajirao Mastani (2015), to upcoming Draupadi. Has it been conscious?
No! These films find me, I don’t go looking for them. Neither is it a criteria when I choose films. I look at it as a story. I don’t go actively seeking these parts. That has been my process. I need to be drawn to the larger narrative first, before I even think what my contribution to a film can be. I guess it’s just organic that they are happening!
You are among select Indian stars making strides globally, and recently featured in the global campaign of an international luxury brand. Is there pressure that comes with such achievements, since you are representing India?
Oh God! Wow, I didn’t think of it like that. I think it happened organically, the brand would be better equipped to answer why they thought of me. It’s not only exciting, but an absolute privilege, these opportunities don’t present themselves very often. I appreciate the fact that somewhere in my journey of authenticity and honesty, I am being able to collaborate with iconic brands.
You have announced your next production, a Hindi remake of The Intern (2015). What made you go for this official adaptation?
When I saw the Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro version of it, this is where I can say I finally came across as something that’s going to be endearing, light-hearted, relatable. The theme of the film is universal. India is one of the youngest countries in the world. With the youth, the way people work today, our ideologies… we are very different from the older generation. This movie threw light on how this slightly older person comes into our life. In our culture, we have it in a different way. We have had uncles, aunties, grandparents who give you that old-world grounding and rooting we all need as we progress in this new age world. And we have this elderly person who has this knowledge and experience, but he is not being able to keep up with the digital age. It’s a beautiful, relevant story between two generations.
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