Deepika Padukone′s dream run in the industry continues. ‘Karthik calling Karthik’ has only built on her reputation as an actress who can deliver when needed. And she has a bagful of promising films to look forward to with the likes of young guns like Imran Khan, Neil Nitin Mukesh and of course Ashutosh Gowariker′s next with Abhishek Bachchan. Enough to make anyone who has been in the industry or only three years feel proud. But not Deepika, who shot to instant stardom as a model and repeated her feet in the film industry, as she says, “Of course I am happy with the way things have gone. But I am not someone who is easily satisfied, I keep craving for more. Not really in an obsessive kind of way,” she laughs. “But yeah I always keep feeling that I can do better and I strive to achieve that.” So how does she react to the talk of her being a frontrunner for the No.1 actress crown? “To be honest I don′t pay much attention to it,” she says simply. “I am concentrating on my work and trying to better myself. If the rest has to happen it will,” she says. Looks like she′s not very comfortable accepting compliments, we say. “Oh no, don′t get me wrong, I love compliments. Who doesn′t? But I can be quite discerning too,” come her reminder. So what does she have to say about being called a lucky mascot given her success ratio? “She laughs and says, “I don′t know really, what to say to that. But as long as my producers and directors are happy with my job, I am happy.”
Deepika Padukone (more photos on gallery)
Deepika has never taken her success for granted even though, right from the time she set her foot in the industry she was marked for stupendous success. “How can I?” she questions. “I may have reached this place that I am in today rather quickly, but there is years of hard work that has gone into it. It hasn′t always been a cakewalk; I have had my share of struggles to, which people don′t usually see. But then right from the beginning I have been guided by some really lovely and genuine people; I have been lucky,” she says ponderously. And today Deepika has fans all over the world. How does she deal with that kind of attention? “I am a pretty grounded person, I have never let any of this go to my head,” she says rationally. “It has been drilled into my head that success that can be achieved in no time can vanish as easily too. My father being a sportsman has always trained hard and worked hard for his success. That kind of dedication and attitude was imbibed into me since childhood. Quite simply, you have to work hard and do your best to achieve something in life. When you look at things like that, how can you ever take things for granted?” she says philosophically.
Inheriting work ethics from her folks is one thing, but for them to have to deal with all the side effects of her stardom, linkups, break ups, et al must be a lesson itself? She smiles gently as she says, “My parents are quite proud of me and know me very well. They understand all this is part of my profession although I know sometimes they might get worked up,” she says. “But I am here because they have supported me all the way and never questioned my decisions. They know I will never let them down. If there is anything they are the first ones to know,” she says. So is there anything happening, we slip in one. But she′s quick to note that she won′t be answering personal questions and brushes it off with a “No comments.”
It′s been a case of so far so good for Deepika, but there have been detractors who have tried to run her down at times. When everyone else is raving about her, how does Deepika deal with her carpers? “There will always be some detractors as you say, you can′t please everyone,” she explains. “I try and cut off all negativity around me and focus on the positives. Because it′s quite easy to be bogged down, especially when you don′t have your support system around you. Yes I do have good friends in Mumbai but I miss my parents and I visit them or they visit me whenever we can. But there are times when you are on your own and if you start thinking about the negative stuff, it′s easy to get bogged down. It′s much easier to look at the brighter side of things, isn′t it?” she says calmly.
There are a set of detractors who claim that Deepika has always chosen “safe” projects and continues to do so… “I don′t understand what a “safe” project is,” she interrupts. Movies that have a potential to be hits, within the right setup and co-stars, we add. “And isn′t that what everyone tries to do? I don′t get where the problem is,” she says a bit agitated. The fact maybe that Deepika has concentrated on commercial movies rather than testing her limits as an actor doing something offbeat. She thinks for a moment and says, “But I have been here for a little more than two years and done 5 films. There is time for everything. I think the roles I have done so far have been challenging for me and I have enjoyed doing them. I wouldn′t have had it any other way. I don′t look at movies as safe or unsafe, commercial or offbeat. Those lines have been blurred long ago. When I sign a film, I don′t think about how it′s going to benefit me or where′s it′s going to take my career. None of these things are on my mind. I do films that I believe in,” she declares. And Deepika we believe in you.