Deepika Padukone has become one of the most celebrated faces of Indian Cinema in an elaborate career of 10 years. The diva who started her career opposite Shah Rukh Khan in 2007 with Om Shaanti Om, became a global face in 2017 with her Hollywood debut opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
While the actress is known to keep her personal life away from media glare, she manages to be in the news mostly for her work and good empowering reasons. While the actor has been dominating the box office in the home since 2015 with two back to back blockbusters, Piku and Bajirao Masatni, 2017 showed a more humanitarian and off-camera side of the actor. As she turns 32 today, let’s take a look at key moments that define the year for her:
1. From a Kingfisher model to a glimpse in a music video to the grand Bollywood launch with SRK.
Deepika Padukone must be both hardworking and lucky. She was a Kingfisher model in 2006, where she rose to fame and appeared in Himesh Reshammiya’s music video ‘Naam Hai Tera’. What was to come next? Deepika started prepping up for an acting career, got cast in a movie down south, ‘Aishwarya’ which became a superhit. Then, after refusing Salman Khan, she went on to make her Bollywood debut with Farah Khan’s Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Om Shanti Om’. And from there on began the journey of Bollywood’s Queen.
2. The Lull phase
The journey, like most others, wasn’t a smooth one for Deepika either. In spite of getting a dreamy launch, she went through a lull phase in her career. From 2009 (‘Chandni Chowk To China’) to doing films like ‘Lafangey Parindey’ and ‘Kartik Calling Kartik’ in 2010 and 2011, Deepika was failing miserably to make a mark in Bollywood. A ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’, a ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and a ‘Housefull’ didn’t help boost the actress’ career either.
3. The change and rise of Deepika Padukone
2012 was the year people saw a completely changed Deepika Padukone. 2012 also happens to be the year when Homi Adajania’s ‘Cocktail’ gave the world Veronica. What was to happen next? Some landmark movies for Deepika Padukone, what else? In 2013, Deepika scored four 100-crore club films – ‘Race 2’, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ramleela’ and ‘Chennai Express’. She then went on to do more landmark films like ‘Piku’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’, which only strengthened her base in Bollywood. In today’s times, Deepika is the poster face for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next movie ‘Padmavat’. Just for the record, this is her third movie with Sanjay, so will it be right to say she has turned his muse? Maybe.
4. The setback and the bounce back in her personal life, leading to a successful woman
Along with a professional setback, Deepika was also going through a low phase in her personal life. But that only seems to have worked in her favour. People could feel Deepika’s pain in her characters in ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and ‘Cocktail’ post her public and sad break-up with Ranbir Kapoor. The connectivity factor brought Deepika’s fans closer to her. Deepika was even reportedly dating Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Sidharth Mallya, but nobody came close to her bonding like Ranbir’s. Post pairing up with Ranveer Singh in 3 movies now, the couple is said to have come closer than ever. Today Ranbir and Deepika have worked in 2 films post break-up and Ranbir, Ranveer and Deepika are on cordial terms.
Deepika was also amongst the first celebrities to openly speak about depression. She shocked everyone with the statement, because nobody could imagine someone as successful as Deepika being depressed. She even opened her own NGO called ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ and has her own clothing brand ‘All About You’. Women empowerment, you say?
5. The Hollywood stint
Post working in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ together, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone were the only two top-notch actresses who dared to step into Hollywood and at least begin to make some mark for themselves out there. PeeCee was also doing a lot of music videos with artists and also working on the TV sitcom ‘Quantico’. Dippy, on the other hand, made her Cannes red carpet debut last year and impressed quite a few. Priyanka worked in ‘Baywatch’ with Dwayne Johnson and Deepika opted for ‘xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage’ with Vin Diesel. Both the actresses had a significant role to play in their movies, thus making India proud of their stint. Dippy even managed to bring Vin to India and make him experience the Indian culture.
The Glorious Hollywood Debut
A lot was being said about Deepika’s role in DJ Curoso directorial starring Vin Diesel. Critics were skeptical about her part and feared that she might just be reduced to another damsel in distress. However, she proved them wrong with a commanding presence in a not-so-impactful action film. Not only was she a saving grace in the film, but also kept it real with her actions and refused to go the cliché way. Her action avatar was hailed by fans worldwide and made xXx one of the highest grosser of the year.
During the promotions of her debut Hollywood film, Deepika got a chance to interact with the media outside and just like her colleague Priyanka Chopra, the actor made the opportunity count. From attending Oscars 2017 after party to cracking up jokes at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Miss Padukone made head turns with her elegance and charmed her way into people’s heart worldwide.
Carrying Forward the Talk About Depression
Apart from films, Deepika opened up about her depression and made people realise to take it more seriously. “Having experienced depression in the recent past, I realise how difficult it is to recognise the problem, find information and get the right kind of professional help (sic)” Deepika had said while launching her foundation in 2016. The actress had a tremendous 2014, but still felt ‘directionless’ and ‘lost’. After coping with it, the ‘Chennai Express’ star decided to launch ‘Live Love Laugh’ foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to addressing the issue of mental health in India.
Speaking Fiercely Over Padmavati Row
The biggest blow came in the latter half of 2017 when Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmavati fell into the broil of controversies. Certain Rajput fringe outfits accused the makers of the film for distorting history and disrespecting the Queen. Deepika, who essays the role of Rani Padmini in the film, came out in the open and called out people for making baseless claims. She even criticized the outfit for using violent methods and questioned government’s silence over the issue. While many big names refused to comment on the matter, Deepika made sure to stand by the film in the tremulous times.
Wishing the smart, independent and ever-empowering Deepika, a very happy birthday!