Deepika Padukone’s success story is pretty much reminiscent of the kind that Madhuri Dixit had enjoyed in her career. After making a slow start, Madhuri had turned ‘Mohini’ and never looked back. Though Deepika had a head start as ‘Shanti’ with Om Shanti Om, there were some obstacles ahead. However from being ‘Veronica’ [Cocktail] to ‘Leela’ [Ram-Leela], it has been one enviable journey for sure.
Your five successes in a row (Cocktail, Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, Ram-Leela) pretty much remind of a similar turn that had taken place in Madhuri’s career with Tezaab, Tridev, Ram Lakhan, Parinda and Dil turning out to be back to back successes between 1988-1990. Flattered to be in elite company?
It’s a huge compliment for me. Having said that, I am not in a position to be drawing that comparison myself. If audiences, critics and industry are saying then I would acknowledge that. Of course Madhuri has been someone who has been a great influence in my life during the growing up years. People like her and Sridevi are greats of Indian cinema, just like Waheeda Rahman and Madhubala are.
Well, just like them, filmmakers seem to be bringing you on board as an actress who can deliver than just the one who enhances the glamour quotient.
I am glad that today filmmakers are coming to me with strong female roles. They have a faith in me that I can pull off complex roles. Homi Adajania (Cocktail), Ayan Mukerji (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani), Rohit Shetty (Chennai Express), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Ram-Leela) – they all have written something special for me. I am enjoying the fact that from being Veronica to Naina to Meena to Leela, I am getting to play some diametrically opposite parts.
No other actor or actress has enjoyed as many four major successes in a single year. That must be unbelievable even for you, isn’t it?
It’s an overwhelming feeling. Still, these are not the things that an actor can control when it comes to which calendar year a film releases in. I am fortunate that these films have come back to back for me. However, I can only handle the creative part of film. Once I sign a film, I want to be true to myself in every moment that I spend making it. I enjoy that part the most. Then I move on.
You may still be thinking of hanging on for a while to witness Ram-Leela turning into a 100 crore affair as well.
Well, I won’t mind at all (smiles). However, I am still waiting. Let that 100 crore thing happen. Post that if it goes beyond or even 200 crore then that’s more than welcome. I respect the 100 crore club. However, I want the critical acclaim as well as audience’s compliments to come in for the film too. Otherwise such 100 crore affairs are of no meaning to me.