Deepika Padukone (born 5 January 1986) is an Indian film actress. She is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world and is cited in the media as one of the nation's most popular and attractive personalities. Padukone has established a career in Hindi films, and is the recipient of several awards, including three Filmfare Awards.
Padukone, the daughter of the badminton player Prakash Padukone, was born in Copenhagen and raised in Bangalore. As a teenager she played badminton in national level championships, but left her career in the sport to become a fashion model. She soon received offers for film roles, and made her acting debut in 2006 as the title character of the Kannada film Aishwarya. Padukone then played a dual role in her first Bollywood release—the 2007 blockbuster Om Shanti Om—and won a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Padukone received praise for portraying the lead female roles in the romance Love Aaj Kal (2009) and the drama Lafangey Parindey (2010), but her performances in the romance Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) and the comedy Housefull (2010) were met with negative reviews.
The 2012 box office hit Cocktail marked a turning point in Padukone's career, earning her praise and Best Actress nominations at several award ceremonies. She rose to prominence with starring roles in the comedies Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), Chennai Express (2013), and Happy New Year (2014), and the historical romance Bajirao Mastani (2015), all of which rank among the highest-grossing Bollywood films. Padukone's acclaimed portrayal of a character based on Juliet in the tragic romance Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and a headstrong architect in the comedy-drama Piku (2015) won her two Best Actress awards at Filmfare.
Alongside her acting career, Padukone participates in stage shows, has written columns for an Indian newspaper, is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products, and is vocal about issues such as feminism and depression. She has designed her own line of clothing for women and is the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which creates awareness on mental health in India.
Early life and modelling career
Deepika Padukone was born on 5 January 1986 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to Konkani-speaking parents. Her father, Prakash, is a former badminton player of international repute, and her mother, Ujjala, is a travel agent. Her younger sister, Anisha, is a golfer. Her paternal grandfather, Ramesh, was a secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association. The family relocated to Bangalore, India, when Padukone was a year old. She was educated at Bangalore's Sophia High School, and completed her pre-university education at Mount Carmel College. She subsequently enrolled at the Indira Gandhi National Open University for a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, but later quit it due to scheduling conflicts with her modelling career.
Padukone has admitted to being socially awkward as a child, and did not have many friends. The focus of her life was badminton, which she played competitively from a young age. Describing her daily routine in a 2012 interview, Padukone said, "I would wake up at five in the morning, go for physical training, go to school, again go for playing badminton, finish my homework and go to sleep." Padukone continued to pursue a career in badminton throughout her school years, and played the sport in national level championships. She also played baseball in a few state level tournaments. While concentrating on her education and sporting career, Padukone also worked as a child model, first appearing in a couple of advertising campaigns at the age of eight. In the tenth grade, she changed focus and decided to become a fashion model. She later explained, "I realised that I was playing the game only because it ran in the family. So, I asked my father if I could give up the game and he wasn't upset at all." In 2004, she began a full-time career as a model under the tutelage of Prasad Bidapa.
Early in her career, Padukone gained recognition with a television commercial for the soap Liril, and modelled for various other brands and products. In 2005, she made her runway debut at the Lakme Fashion Week for designer Suneet Varma, and won the "Model of the Year" award at the Kingfisher Fashion Awards. Padukone's fame increased when she appeared in a highly popular print campaign for the 2006 Kingfisher Calendar; the designer Wendell Rodricks commented, "Since Aishwarya Rai, we haven't had a girl as beautiful and fresh." Rodricks had spotted her at a Ganjam jewellery class he was teaching and signed her up with the Matrix agency. At the age of 21, Padukone relocated to Mumbai and stayed at her aunt's home. That year, she gained wider recognition by featuring in the music video for Himesh Reshammiya's song "Naam Hai Tera."
Padukone soon began to receive offers for film roles. Believing herself to be too inexperienced as an actor, she instead enrolled for a course at Anupam Kher's film academy. Following much media speculation, the director Farah Khan, who had noticed her in Reshammiya's music video, made the decision to cast her for a role in Happy New Year.
Film debut and breakthrough (2006–09)
Padukone announced in 2006 that she would make her film debut with Aishwarya, a Kannada film directed by Indrajit Lankesh. The romantic comedy was a remake of the Telugu film Manmadhudu, and she was cast in the title role opposite the actor Upendra. The film proved a major commercial success. RG Vijayasarathy of Rediff.com was appreciative of Padukone's screen presence but added that "she needs to work on her emotional scenes."
By the end of 2006, Farah Khan's Happy New Year was shelved, and Khan had instead cast Padukone for the reincarnation melodrama Om Shanti Om (2007). Set against the backdrop of the Hindi film industry, the film tells the story of a struggling actor in the 1970s who dies soon after witnessing the murder of the woman he loved, and is reincarnated to avenge her death. Shah Rukh Khan starred as the protagonist, and Padukone featured in dual roles—Shantipriya, a leading actress of the 1970s, and later as Sandy, an aspiring actress. She said, "I've grown up watching [Shah Rukh] and always admired him so much. To get to work with him ... is quite wonderful. It was also fantastic that Farah showed faith in my talent and cast me opposite him." In preparation for her role, Padukone watched several films of actresses Helen and Hema Malini to study their body language, which she felt "were more graceful" and "completely different from today's actors." However, her voice was dubbed by the voice artist Mona Ghosh Shetty. For one of the songs in the film, "Dhoom Taana,” Padukone drew upon Indian classical dance, and according to Dorling Kindersley, "mesmeriz[ed] audiences" by using hasta mudras (hand gestures). Om Shanti Om was a commercial success, and emerged as the highest-grossing film of the year, with a global revenue of ₹1.49 billion (US$22 million). Taran Adarsh of the entertainment portal Bollywood Hungama reviewed, "Deepika has all it takes to be a top star—the personality, the looks and yes, she's supremely talented too. Standing in the same frame as [Shah Rukh] and getting it right is no small achievement. She comes as a whiff of fresh air!" At the annual Filmfare Awards ceremony, Padukone was awarded the Best Female Debut Award and received her first nomination in the Best Actress category.
Bollywood Hungama reported that the success of Om Shanti Om proved a breakthrough for Padukone. She followed this success with the role of Gayatri (one of star Ranbir Kapoor's love interests), a feisty student in Australia who moonlights as a cab driver in Yash Raj Films' romantic comedy Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008). The film was a financial success, but Namrata Joshi of Outlook wrote that Padukone's performance was disappointing: "She is mannequin-like and utterly lacks fire and zing."
Padukone's first release of 2009 came alongside Akshay Kumar in the Nikhil Advani-directed kung fu comedy Chandni Chowk To China, in which she portrayed the dual roles of Indian-Chinese twin sisters Sakhi and Suzy. Produced by Warner Bros., it had one of the widest international releases ever given to an Indian film. Padukone learned the Japanese martial art form of jujutsu, and performed her stunts without the use of a body double. Despite the hype, Chandni Chowk To China proved a major financial failure with worldwide earnings of ₹554.7 million (US$8.2 million) on a budget of ₹800 million (US$12 million). Film critics were generally disappointed with the picture and Padukone's performance; Justin Trout of Orlando Weekly noted that she "is so wasted in Chandni Chowk, my mind often wandered back to Om Shanti Om during her scenes, possibly as a defense mechanism."
That same year, Padukone featured in an item number (for a song called "Love Mera Hit Hit") in the drama Billu, following which she appeared alongside Saif Ali Khan in the romantic drama Love Aaj Kal from the writer-director Imtiaz Ali. The film documented the changing value of relationships among the youth, and had Padukone play the part of Meera Pandit, a head-strong career woman. With a worldwide gross of ₹1.2 billion (US$18 million), Love Aaj Kal proved to be the third highest-grossing film of 2009. Aniruddha Guha of Daily News and Analysis said that Padukone "delivers the best of her four performances so far" and Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India mentioned her as "definitive and strong." At the 55th Filmfare Awards Padukone received a nomination for Best Actress.
Padukone shares a close bond with her family, and visits them regularly in her hometown of Bangalore. She lives by herself in Prabhadevi, a neighbourhood in Mumbai, and admits to missing the presence of her family there. She says, "I miss them, but luckily I have a life of my own, which keeps me from getting homesick. I wouldn’t want them to uproot their lives from Bengaluru just to be with me." A practicing Hindu, Padukone considers religion to be an important aspect of her life and makes frequent visits to temples and other religious shrines.
While filming Bachna Ae Haseeno in 2008, Padukone began a romantic relationship with co-star Ranbir Kapoor. She spoke openly about the relationship and sported a tattoo of his initials on the nape of her neck. She has said that the relationship had a profound effect on her, transforming her into a more confident and social person. The Indian media speculated on an engagement, and reported that this had occurred in November 2008, although Padukone had stated that she had no plans to marry within the next five years. The couple broke up a year later; she professed in an interview to feeling "angry" and "betrayed" for a long time, but insisted that they remained on good terms. In a 2010 interview, Padukone made a comment that the media speculated was a reference to her break-up with Kapoor:
“The first time he cheated on me, I thought there was something wrong with me or the relationship, but when someone makes a habit of it, you know the problem lies with him. Yet I was foolish enough to give him a second chance because he begged and pleaded, despite the fact that everyone around me said he was still straying. I guess I really wanted to believe in him. Then I actually caught him red-handed. It took me a while to get out. But having done that, nothing can make me go back.”
Kapoor initially denied the allegations, but according to The Times of India, he later admitted to the infidelity. In 2013, following the production of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Padukone told Filmfare that she now "shares a great comfort level" with him.
In 2011, a set of pictures showing Padukone kissing the actor Siddharth Mallya at an Indian Premier League match were made available on the web. This led to wide speculation in the media about the nature of their relationship, which Padukone declined to talk about publicly. The following year there were reports about a break-up, to which she said: "Just because we are not seen together, it doesn't mean that we are not friends anymore." She has since denied reports of her link-up to Ranveer Singh, stating that she is "not in a frame of mind to be in a relationship."
[ Wikipedia ]