Piku will go down the history of Indian cinema: Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone tells Pranav Kulkarni
Has there been one single life-changing moment/ experience that you feel defines your career so far?
I think there have been a couple of those career-changing moments in my career (sic). The first one being Om Shanti Om. I think it was a massive debut and a very unique one (sic). I consider myself extremely lucky and fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to play a double-role and to be in such wonderful hands and to be presented in such a wonderful manner. I can’t think of any other female actor who has had that sort of a debut. So definitely Om Shanti Om. I think some of the other special films were Love Aaj Kal and then of course Cocktail. My career would be incomplete without mentioning Cocktail. Cocktail was the most obvious, defining film of my career. But more than what the film did to my career, it is also the experience of shooting that film that changed a lot of things for me and it also made me a confident actor. And then, in more recent times I would say Piku, again a very very special film. At many levels, at a concept level at an idea level — I think a film that will go down in the history of Indian cinema, but also just the experience that we had while making that movie. So I think all of these movies have been extremely special for me.
You made a Hollywood debut with xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Could you share with us the memories of that one light moment at the shoot that you will always remember looking back?
Well if I had to choose, while all of it was fun and special and everyone there was extremely positive and came there to just put their best foot forward and make a good film happen. But if I had to pick one fun moment, I think it would be every day after lunch, they would serve us freshly baked cookies, and the entire unit would rush towards those cookies and me and the girls would just collect as many as possible so that we could space them out and eat them through the day. Those were really fun times. I think post lunch, when everyone’s energy drops, these freshly baked cookies — and we could smell it coming because while they were freshly baking them, we could literally get the whiff of those cookies coming our way. So I think that is a really fun memory for me.
Your initiatives for mental health are well-known, is there a probability of seeing you portraying the subject in a mainstream film?
Ya, sure. I mean if there is an organic way of doing it, most definitely. For example, Piku is a classic example or Vicky Donor again, I think these are films where subjects like these have been taken, you put them into mainstream cinema, but they are also dealt with — you know I think the intent is correct. How do you make something interesting and exciting and entertaining, but at the same time, manage to deliver the message? So I think as long as there is an interesting and a genuine way of telling that story, I would most definitely be open to that.
(The interview was first published in Vistara magazine, the official magazine of Vistara airline. Photo credits: official poster Piku and Facebook, Deepika Padukone)