I met the gorgeous Deepika Padukone ahead of her upcoming hatke film Finding Fanny in her shooting van for the first time and was taken aback by the interiors. Much like her home, it had a very special Deepika touch to it and looked every bit a girly van, very different from the ones I have seen for other actresses. The SOFAS and curtains have a dainty flowery print with a lamp and diya lit on the side table. Just as you would expect in a girl’s space, there is a running small kitchenette. We sat down over a cup of coffee where she spoke to Bombay Times about her special bond with Dimple Kapadia, her best friend Dinesh Vijan and why marriage may need to wait for a couple of years. Excerpts:
Your van is unique and so girly.
I love interiors and love picking up small things for the house or my van and love doing up spaces. I took personal interest in doing this up and am a very home proud person. I love maintaining the house, be it cleaning or cooking. Last two years, I was WORKING so much that I was spending so much time on the film set and my van that I would hardly ever go home. So I thought, why don’t I do up the van nicely. And do it up just like we do up our home. Guys have their own van, why can’t I? I can now leave home in the morning, go to the gym and from there, come straight here, have a shower and get ready here itself. There were times last year when I even stayed in the van. Luckily, it has a full- fledged kitchenette.
What made you do a film as hatke as Finding Fanny?
I am willing to try different kinds of films, be it of any size. Homi Adajania had told me about this story during the time of Cocktail. Towards the end of Cocktail, I went to him and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ He said, ‘What rubbish? You will not do it.’ We didn’t even have a producer then. We both then went to our producer Dinoo (Dinesh Vijan) and he said yes. There is a point where you feel like doing something different, not for the sake of doing something different, but you want to give your audience something different. And unless you are going to test the waters, you will never really know. A lot of times, we play safe and are scared to experiment and go beyond our comfort zone. Maybe due to the certain amount of confidence that I feel now, I felt that if I don’t do it now, I will never do it. At the same time, I am also nervous as nobody has done an English film before. At a basic level, the story is about these five cracked people on a journey to find Fanny and about discovering their relationships during the journey. The difference lies in Homi’s way of telling his story.
You have told me earlier how Dinoo is your best friend. Does that still hold?
Absolutely. He is not my friend. He is my brother. He is someone I trust blindly. It’s an equation that we have built over time that started during the time of Love Aaj Kal. He was making his first massive home production and they had signed Imtiaz Ali, when he was not the big Imtiaz that we know today. There was buzz about the Om Shanti Om girl, but the film had not released and so, no one had seen my work. Dinoo and Imtiaz still had faith in me and signed me for Love Aaj Kal. So, I have known Dinoo since and it has been an effortless relationship. He is the first person I will call if I need anything, be it a crisis, personal or professional issue. The side that people see of him is professional. But there is a very vulnerable and emotional side to him that people don’t know as he doesn’t OPEN up so easily. There is no bullshit between us. Dinoo too, is very protective about me and has seen me over the years, during all my ups and downs. I go every year with my family to Tirupati. The last time, Dinoo and his family went with us.
Do you still also count Homi Adajania as your friend?
Again, Homi and his wife Anaita are my friends. Their home is OPEN to me 24 x7. Their kids are my stressbusters. If I am upset or sad or lonely, I go to them. We can’t leave you without asking about your third friend Ranveer Singh, with whom we believe you share a romantic relationship. While you always look calm, he is always full of energy.
How does it WORK for the both of you?
Ranveer is a friend and a fun co-star. While the impression is that he is bubbly and energetic and all of that, there is actually this calm, emotional, rational, sensitive side to him that a lot of people don’t know. I too, am like him in that way and we are actually quite similar people in terms of our values, our culture and the way we have been brought up.
Between Ranveer, Dinoo and Homi, who would you reach out to first if you had a problem?
I would reach out to Dinoo first.
Even before Ranveer? 100%. It’s due to the journey you have had with a person over a period of time versus someone who you have met only in the last two years.
READ: What’s keeping Deepika Padukone busy?
When does marriage figure in your life? It will definitely figure. I can’t put a time to it as the feeling needs to be right, but I don’t see it happening for a couple of years at least.
How was your experience of WORKING with Naseeruddin Shah?
You may not believe it, but he is a chiller. He is so cool. We had a great time. We were all foodies, be it Dinoo, Homi, Arjun, Naseer sir and I. So everyday for 30 days, post pack-up in Goa, we would hit back to THE HOTEL, get ready and by 8, we would discover a new place to eat, till, after some time, we discovered this one place and would just go there every day, ordering the same food each time.
You have WORKED with Naseer sahab in Finding Fanny and his son Vivaan in Happy New Year. How different are they?
There is no difference. They are both the same. Vivaan has a strange sense of comedy and timing. If someone cracks a joke, he reacts much later. Or he cracks a joke that nobody gets, but he is so adorable. It’s rare to see so much innocence in a boy this age. When you know the both of them, you realise how similar they both are.
What was it like WORKING with Dimple Kapadia?
Dimple and I got along at a personal level when we were shooting for Cocktail. She is such a warm and sensitive person. She is always showering me with praises and that makes me really awkward and uncomfortable, as I feel the same for her. I was doing up my home at that point and she loves interiors and has an amazing aesthetic sense and is so stylish and elegant. So, we had an off day where she had made a plan to take me out shopping. Next morning, she called me at 10 saying, ‘I am ready. Are you ready to go?’ We hopped into a car and roamed around. She had identified SHOPS she wanted to take me to. Quite like a mummy and friend, she had decided which cushions I need to buy, which carpet and she told me, ‘This you have to do and that you have to do.’ She then took me out to some amazing lunch and we had just an amazing time. She is full of life with a great sense of humour. More than anything else, I respect her as I see the strength of a woman who has been through a lot.
And what about Pankaj Kapur?
He was very, very quiet in the beginning. He started by saying, ‘Oh no. I have to go to bed on time.’ But by the end of it, we had made him like us.
Does Box Office matter to you?
Love and appreciation matter, be it in the form of numbers or critics and therefore, I guess it’s always a combination of both.