Posted: 3 months ago

Deepika Padukone new interview and pictures

“Haters may call you straitjacketed, but the truth is you’re a rebel at heart...” I read and pause as Deepika Padukone’s eyes widen and she nods in agreement, flashing me a dimpled smile. “You’re someone who thrives on challenging the norms in your own unique style, and this is precisely the superpower you’re being called to tap into right now,” I read on. “You didn’t come here to live a life of ‘what-ifs’, Capricorn.” Padukone laughs. “It feels so accurate,” she says. “A rebel at heart. That’s me.”

I am in the actor’s Mumbai home where we start our conversation by reading Vogue India’s daily horoscope. It’s midday and the 37-year-old is a vision in her longline oatmeal kurta worn over wide-leg pants. She looks fantastic and healthy—the whites of her eyes are crystal clear, her hair is scraped back, her skin is without a stitch of makeup. There is no doubt that Padukone is one of our great Indian beauties.

She’s been training intensely. “I’ve been working really hard in the gym and it just feels so rewarding.” Padukone is about to fly to Italy to film two songs for her upcoming movie Fighter opposite Hrithik Roshan and has been keeping a strict schedule. As she indulges me in cogitating on the woo-woo of that day, what becomes clear is the superstar’s immense discipline and dedication, which ensure she is firmly in control of her own destiny.

We reflect on the past year and a half since we met in Barcelona for her Vogue India cover shoot that commemorated her history-making global Louis Vuitton ambassadorship. “It’s been a year and a half of gratitude. So much has happened since we met. In many ways, that was the beginning of this new global journey that I embarked on.” We then cite the honour roll of the previous 18 months: Louis Vuitton and Cartier ambassadorships, the FIFA World Cup trophy unveiling, a TIME magazine cover, appearing on the prestigious list of presenters at the 95th Academy Awards, and adding self-care brand 82°E to her ever-evolving wheelhouse. Somehow, amidst all of this multi-hyphenation, she also found the time to star in a few blockbusters (heard of Pathaan?).

Padukone, however, is not someone who takes any of this for granted. “When Ethan James Green was shooting me for the Louis Vuitton campaign last year, I saw the images with the logo on the monitor and I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, whatever, they are just going to put it on their social media and use me like an influencer’ and I moved on from that. A few months later, I was in Cannes as part of the film festival jury when I looked out the car window on my way to the red carpet and saw this huge storefront with my face on it. That’s when it finally hit me—this is happening.”

And happening it well and truly is. The world’s eyes are firmly trained on India. International brands, from the likes of Saint Laurent to Apple, are coming in with an intent to capitalise on the next huge luxury market opportunity. For Padukone, it’s about time this happened. “India has always been here, it’s just taken the world this much time to sit up and notice our power. We’ve stuck to being authentic to who we are.” Rather than a key moment, she sees this as more of a beginning. “This is not a bubble. It is not something that has been created overnight. What makes this time where India is finally being taken seriously as a player on the world map more meaningful is that it isn’t transient.”

On the topic of cultural capital and blurring borders, I ask Padukone if she eventually plans to move and I’m met with an emphatic no, that India is home. “Why do I need to move with bag and baggage to have global impact? Early on in my modelling career, I had an offer to move overseas and all of the fashion gurus in India said, ‘You shouldn’t be here, you should be in Paris, New York or Milan,’ and I was like, ‘No, those places are not my home. India is home.’”

Indeed, sticking to her own path has been something of a running theme during the course of Padukone’s career. At 21, her debut film Om Shanti Om (2007) catapulted her into the spotlight and became her entry point into an industry steeped in built-in bias. How did a young, non-nepo baby deal with other people’s insecurities about an outsider taking up space in their lair? “I had no choice,” she says after one of her signature contemplative pauses. “When you were an outsider 15 or 20 years ago, there was no other option. It’s an uphill task for any individual trying to make a mark in a field or profession that their parents don’t come from. The fact that we’ve started to articulate things like nepotism is a new trend. It existed then, it exists now and it will continue to exist. That was my reality.” Brushing off past hurdles, she continues in a matter-of-fact tone, “Back then, I had so many things to deal with, not just professionally but also personally. I was a teenager moving to a new city with no family or friends in a new industry. I had to figure out my meals (a time before Swiggy or Zomato, mind you) and transport, and lug my own bags around. I never thought of it as a burden back then. I’d finish late at night, exhausted, then carry my suitcase across town in a cab and sometimes fall asleep on the drive back home. My mother would be so worried about whether I would get home safe. Today when I look back at that journey, I think, ‘Not bad, girl! You did this and you did it on your own.’ But at that moment, there was no time to reflect.” As an editor who has worked with her fair share of models, I remark on how gruelling modelling is—something that most people don’t realise. “If sport is one thing that teaches you life lessons, then modelling is another,” Padukone solemnly intones. To this day, she carries her kit filled with everything a stylist could hope for from the talent they’re working with. “When I work with new stylists, they are shocked. You were shocked,” she says with a chuckle. “You were like, ‘Oh my god, you have your stuff!’ That’s my modelling training.”

When I ask whether she attributes her success to her no-nonsense beginnings, she emphatically replies, “Oh, 100 per cent. Nobody can question my work ethic and I’m fiercely proud and protective of what I’ve built because it’s all my own.” Words like dedication, consistency, determination and patience are all terms that flow easily during interviews, but living them is another thing altogether. In that sense, Padukone—also a national-level badminton player—has the spirit of an athlete through and through.

“Are you a workaholic?” I ask, the enormity of her achievements and clarity of purpose being one of the things at the forefront of my mind. “Yes,” she replies self-assuredly. “I’m a workaholic, but I’m also in that beautiful phase now where I am a Monday-to-Friday workaholic, so I’ve found that balance.” Padukone’s public struggle with mental health has meant that she very deliberately carves out a balance and works at maintaining it. “I was diagnosed with depression in 2014. Once that happens, you realise that taking care of your mental health is also work. A part of that everyday work is finding balance. I’ve found that balance where I am a proud workaholic but not the type where I feel burnt out, exhausted or like I’m on the verge of having a breakdown.”

Padukone’s frankness about her personal struggle with depression and her continued advocacy for mental health are qualities I admire in her most. Months after having a bounty placed on her head post the release of Padmaavat (2018), she stood in solidarity with students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. How does she manage to espouse her values as a public figure while safeguarding her boundaries and protecting herself? “I just don’t know any other way of being,” she replies after another long pause. “When I feel really strongly or passionately about something, I don’t think twice about expressing myself. I’ve grown to become this person where I’m not afraid of speaking my truth or owning up to mistakes. I’m not afraid of saying sorry and I’m okay to be the only person in the room who has a different point of view.” I don’t ask her about her politics even though I would love to.

Instead, I ask what she does for fun. “I love being at home, pottering around and decluttering. I’ve come to learn that this is also me decluttering my mind.” Her revelation doesn’t come as a surprise given the tone-on-tone serenity of her home office which extends to her outfit and her staff who type away with a sunny disposition outside—an antithesis to the chaos of activity that usually flanks Bollywood celebrities. “Food, I find comfort in food. I love eating. My husband and I love eating.” I ask about the last great meal she’s had and she promptly responds, “Well, it’s been a while,” reminding me of her training regime for the two songs she’s about to film. “I love dancing. Sometimes, on the weekends, my husband and I play music in the living room and stay up dancing until 4am showing off our playlists to each other.”

Her time with Ranveer Singh, whom Padukone only ever refers to as “my husband”, and her family is sacrosanct. “Spending time with my husband is very important to me. You have to make the time,” she says. “I have to say both he and I make the effort. It cannot be one-sided. We have to schedule it. In our professions, where one of us can be travelling for a month at a time or sometimes he might have a late night and I have an early morning, there are times when we are in the same city but hardly get quality time with each other. It’s not the quantum of time but the quality of that time we have together. We love it when it’s just the two of us but we also love spending time with our families.”

As is evident from her Instagram feed, Padukone is an outdoors person whose ideal holiday involves sun, sand and sea. “I love the ocean and I love diving because you can actually hear the silence,” she says, a beatific smile lighting up her face. I get the feeling that there are only a select few that the actor truly lets into her inner world, apart from her family and husband. Indeed, the actor admits that she has only a handful of close friends who are scattered around the world.

Which brings me to my final question: does she like being famous? The hoopla of fame is something I find hard to reconcile with the person in front of me. “I don’t think I have a problem with it,” Padukone shrugs. “I surround myself with people who don’t care about the fame. I’m a daughter, I’m a wife, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter-in-law. When I step out of that world, then I’m famous. What I like about fame is the fact that you’re able to bring about change, you’re able to touch and influence people’s lives. For me, that is the exciting part. I don’t mind being famous for all those reasons.”

Edited by priya185 - 3 months ago
Posted: 3 months ago

Wow, Isn't she incredibly beautiful? That smile is priceless.

Posted: 3 months ago

Originally posted by priya185

She looks fantastic and healthy—the whites of her eyes are crystal clear, her hair is scraped back, her skin is without a stitch of makeup.

Whites of her eyes? Was she interviewed by an ophthalmologist moonlighting as a reporter?

Posted: 3 months ago

Why is she obsessed with this chipkoo hairstyle all the time 💁‍♀️

Posted: 3 months ago
Originally posted by infinity101

Why is she obsessed with this chipkoo hairstyle all the time 💁‍♀️

Yianni has styled her hair like this

Posted: 3 months ago

All her beauty is nowhere to be seen when center stage is taken by those thick, bad pencil eyebrows 


Posted: 3 months ago
Originally posted by TheJourney

All her beauty is nowhere to be seen when center stage is taken by those thick, bad pencil eyebrows 


Also she looks dull af, or maybe it’s just the makeup. 

Posted: 3 months ago

Deepika is looking stunning!  

Her interviews in print or tv are always blah . She should stop talking altogether 🙈🤣

Posted: 3 months ago

She looks terrible 

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