On Deepika Padukone’s birthday, 11 monumental films which changed the course of her career

Updated on Aug 17, 2020 04:02 AM IST

From Cocktail to Tamasha and Padmaavat, we list Deepika Padukone films that were major milestones in both her career and Bollywood. Happy birthday, Deepika!

Deepika Padukone celebrates her birthday during the Chhapaak movie promotion in Mumbai on Saturday.(PTI)
Deepika Padukone celebrates her birthday during the Chhapaak movie promotion in Mumbai on Saturday.(PTI)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRuchi Kaushal

As Deepika Padukone turns 34 today, her more than a decade’s journey in the Hindi film industry has been phenomenal. Among the highest paid Bollywood actors in Bollywood, the actor has delivered 25 films, including two in South and one Hollywood film, in her 14-year long career. She now returns in a powerful vehicle as an acid attack survivor in Chhapaak who rises from the ashes to fight for those who are disempowered.

Director Meghna Gulzar with actors Vikrant Massey and Deepika Padukone during the promotions of Chhapaak in Mumbai . (IANS)
Director Meghna Gulzar with actors Vikrant Massey and Deepika Padukone during the promotions of Chhapaak in Mumbai . (IANS)

The daughter of veteran badminton player Prakash Padukone and a former Kingfisher model, Deepika has often portrayed independent, strong women on screen with ease and finesse. This justifies why she remains one of the first choices for the established filmmakers. On the occasion of her 34th birthday, here are a few firsts to her name.

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Om Shanti Om

Deepika Padukone, who made her debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om, made the most of the opportunity as she owned the film in two diverse time zones. From channeling Helen and sharing screen space with Rajesh Khanna (via VFX) to turning into a struggling actor post reincarnation, Deepika proved she can settle in any mould, sending a clear message to the filmmakers that she’s here to stay.

 Also Watch | Deepika Padukone cuts pre-birthday cake with Chhapaak team

Love Aaj Kal

After living two lives in Om Shanti Om and doing tonnes of experiments in Chandni Chowk to China, when Deepika got the chance to be real in Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal, she grabbed it with both hands. The actor stepped out of her filmy image to play a strong-headed, career-oriented restoration artist who wouldn’t compromise in love or career. She effortlessly blossomed into a more mature actor and didn’t let Imtiaz down who was expected to deliver on the expectations post the success of Jab We Met.


Deepika did several experiments and even shed her glamourous image in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey and Aarakshan and starred in her first multi-starrer comedy, Housefull. But she again emerged an even bigger stunner -- Veronica in Cocktail and went on to place herself among Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif not just with her looks but her convincing performance as well.

She didn’t mind being pitted against a newcomer -- Diana Penty and exuded glamour as she stepped into an orange bikini on the beach and grooved like a diva on the mesmerising Punjabi number, Jugni. Cocktail upped Deepika’s ranking on the glamour scale and just like the title, she also left her fans intoxicated.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

2013 emerged to be biggest year in Deepika’s life as she ruled the box office with four consecutive blockbusters: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani being one of them. The actor’s character arc from a nerdy student to a successful doctor again proved her credibility. A woman not ready to compromise with her career for the sake of being with her love, Deepika shone bright in this well-made Ayan Mukerji film.

Chennai Express

Deepika joined Rohit Shetty’s club to unite with Shah Rukh Khan post Om Shanti Om and the two went on to repeat the same success with Chennai Express. The film is one of Deepika’s highest grossing film with total worldwide gross collections of Rs 424 crore. The actor proved she is commerically reliable and carried the film on her shoulders in her never seen before avatar of a Tamil speaking, traditionally dressed Meenamma. Like it or not, Deepika also proved she can ace the comedy genre as well.

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela

In the same year, Deepika made a quick switch from a Tamilian to a Gujarati girl in her maiden project with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and now husband Ranveer Singh. The seductive lehenga-choli wearing Leela made way into enemy Ranveer’s heart in no time and went on to seal her permanent place in Bhansali’s house of filmmaking known for grandeur and scale. From being vulnerable in parts to a daring woman ready to risk her life for love, Deepika played the character of an actor’s dreams.



Deepika again went on to deliver three diverse films in 2015, beginning with Piku. She underplayed her glamourous image to portray a caring but frustrated daughter to a bowel-obsessed Amitabh Bachchan. The actor connected with the real aspects of the current generation and managed to shine bright alongside the attention-grabbing father. The actor has always maintained variation in her career and Piku was a risk which did not go waste.


Deepika and Ranbir Kapoor have often weaved magic on screen and were a delight in Tamasha as well. While the film revolved solely around Ranbir’s character who struggles to break out of societal norms, Deepika was fresh and fun but touched hearts as she refused to accept the love of her life if he wasn’t true to himself.

Bajirao Mastani

Deepika again turned Bhansali’s muse and the film did wonders in bringing their real chemistry alive on screen. For the first time, Deepika impressed as fearless and flawless warrior on the battle field and breathtaking and vulnerable in the royal courtyards. Her character had several facets and Deepika aced each one with utmost perfection.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Deepika had missed the chance to be part of the Fast and Furious franchise but finally made her Hollywood debut opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The film may not have fared well on the expectations but with her fair share of screen presence and stunts, the actor proved she was worthy of making a mark in the West. And the wait for her next Hollywood outing continues...


Deepika played a queen in Padmaavat and was all about grace and conviction in her portrayal. The actor reportedly took more remuneration than the male leads and announced with her actions that if she can deliver a film on her shoulders, she will also take the paycheck as per her capabilities, challenging the wage gap prevalent in the industry.

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