[INT] Deepika Padukone on her IIFA nominations

Bollywood’s top actress Padukone talks about awards, live acts and Farhan Akhtar

By Manjusha Radhakrishann, Senior Reporter
Published: 08:40 April 23, 2014

Bollywood heavy-hitter Deepika Padukone really should put together an instruction manual on how to get over an ex-boyfriend (Ranbir Kapoor), move on gracefully and concentrate on the bigger picture. Padukone, who is a prominent player in this weekend’s International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards with triple nominations in the Best Actress category, recalled her favourite IIFA moment in an interview on Monday.

“My first year at the IIFAs, where I won for my debut film. I will never forget that blue gown that I wore in Bangkok,” said Padukone, who made her debut with Shah Rukh-led reincarnation drama Om Shanti Om. While she may have taken back the good bits from that night, what’s etched in any Bollywood movie fan’s memory is that her win was overshadowed by her arm-candy that night. Her then-boyfriend Kapoor and she painted a pretty picture as she they walked in together for the green carpet. But she doesn’t let the fact that their relationship went sour mar that golden memory.

“It was a surreal moment. I was shooting for Love Aaj Kal in London at that time and we had flown from London to Bangkok. It was a weekend that I would never forget in my life,” said Padukone.

Clearly, she has moved on to do bigger and better things.

This Saturday, Padukone is one of the star attractions of IIFA 2014 in Tampa Bay, Florida. Last year has been nothing short of spectacular for Padukone professionally. Her four films — Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki RasLeela Ram-Leela, Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani — were top earners at the box office. But the daughter of badminton player Prakash Padukone claims that such stupendous success was unexpected.

“It feels great because you don’t expect things to work out like this. But the idea was not to have so many releases in one year and neither did I expect to get nominations for all these films. Now I look forward to my performance in Tampa. It’s been such a good year,” said Padukone.

After the IIFAs, she’s planning a month-long break in June.

“Working on four back-to-back films is not the ideal way of working. But never say never, because if there are films I want to do — and I generally want to do all of them — I will be willing to work round the clock. I can’t change that. But the ideal situation would be to do one film at a time,” said Padukone.

It looks like she’s in no mood to slow down. Last week, she was in Abu Dhabi for the IPL (Indian Premier League) opening gala dinner with Kolkota Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan, but says performing on stage is nerve-wracking.

“For IIFAs this weekend, I am not worried about the awards per se or whether I win. I don’t perform on stage often because I get very nervous. So right now, I am concentrating on getting my act right. I will be performing to my biggest hits from last year,” said Padukone.

She may not dwell much about emerging victorious at the IIFAs, but she has kept an eye out on the actresses who are up against her.

Her chances are divided, because having triple nominations doesn’t necessarily mean that she will walk away with the coveted trophy, says Padukone. She’s up against relative newcomers Shraddha Kapoor from Aashiqui 2, Sonakshi Sinha from period romance Lootera and indie actress Nimrat Kaur from the piquant romance The Lunchbox.

“I haven’t seen Aashiqui 2 and The Lunchbox but I really liked Sonakshi Sinha in Lootera. She had a different role, something I have never seen before,” said Padukone.

Her advise before she heads out for the IIFAs in Florida? “It’s going to be an amazing Bollywood night. I think you are being cynical about it [awards being dictated by a star’s presence or absence]. I still have faith in these awards.”

Quote Unquote

“I hope I can shake a leg with John Travolta,” Padukone, when asked if she was looking forward to meeting the Hollywood veteran.

Deepika’s IIFA prediction: “Going by the way the awards seasons is going this year, Farhan [Akhtar] will win for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.”



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