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Appreciations have not been constant: Deepika

Appreciations have not been constant: Deepika
March 01
07:03 2018

Deepika Padukone opens up about her tryst with controversy, success and her chemistry with Ranveer Singh in an interview with E-Times.
After a long stint of keeping away from commenting on the Padmavat controversy, she opens up, “At this stage, it’s just a feeling of joy and celebration. For everything we have been through for the film, the kind of love we have been receiving has been humbling. It’s now a moment to celebrate.”
Her performance and chemistry with Ranveer Singh received accolades from the industry and movie lovers. However, the most interesting comment was from the director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) who during the promotions, seemed in total admiration of Deepika’s performance and calibre. He, in fact, had said that he is ‘not yet done with the actor’. Asked if she felt blessed or would rather prefer to attribute it to the right choices she made in her career, Deepika says, “What I wouldn’t do is to attribute it just to luck. I have worked very hard to get to where I am. It took immense dedication and passion. I had to make a lot of sacrifices. There were criticisms of my performance and choice of script, but I remained committed to put them to a constructive use.”

She is filled with contagious effervescence speaking about her association with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “I do feel blessed. Because when I stepped into the industry ten years ago with Om Shanti Om, another Sanjay Leela Bhansali film was due for release at the same time. I couldn’t fathom that I could ever be his film’s lead character,” she confesses. Since then, Deepika has made her mark through three successful films under Bhansali. “More than the success of the film, he showered me with three very strong characters that left an indelible mark in the minds of cinema lovers. At the same time, when I sit down to tread the old memory lanes, it does feel like a blessing sometimes,” she continues.
Her decade-old industry experience has taught her that any interview sans mention of her off-and-on-screen chemistry with her co-stars is incomplete. She has learned to accept it. She acknowledges that the credit for the chemistry should be shared equally between the duo and the director.
“First of all, it’s about the characters we assigned. Be it Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani – though I can’t say the same about Padmavat—it is the script which lends us room to play these characters in a way that makes the chemistry conspicuous. Then, of course, it’s the director who extracts the emotion. You cannot create chemistry if you don’t trust your co-actor. Ranveer and I have that equation where we can just blindly trust each other,” she asserts on her chemistry with Ranveer.

Such successes both in relationship and Bollywood are known to have corrupted the actors, making them walk away from the journey they once embarked on. But Deepika knows her path, and she claims that it is because she was written-off early in her career. “Appreciations have not been constant in my journey. While I thought Om Shanti Om was the best debut that anyone could have asked for, there was a section of critics and film experts who just wrote me off. Those moments played a very critical role in shaping up my professional decisions. It made me realize things I needed to work upon. I might have made some film choices that have not gone the way I thought it would have. But all of those experiences have made me the actor and the person I am today. In their absence, I would have lacked the conviction to play the characters; to be the professional I am today.”
She quickly adds, “Numbers are often correlated with how good a film is. But it‘s not the case for every time. It’s important to play a character in a way that it leaves an imperishable connect with cinema lover for years to come. I would not think I am successful if people won’t remember the characters I have played for more than a couple of months. I want people to remember, relate and talk about Piku or Naina Talvar – that is a success for me.”
Deepika confesses that the release day still leaves her with a sense of anxiety. “Nothing has changed for me all these years. There is a sense of excitement of the unknown — you don’t know which way the film response is going to be though you have put in months of perseverance in creating it,” she says.

She is quick to add, “I would be lying if I say film reviews are not important. I think they are as important as the box office collection. But most important of all is the acceptance from the audience – acceptance for your work, the character, and the story. It’s about cherishing and celebrating being a part of a film that excites and touches everybody.”
It can never be an either-or choice between critical acclaim and box office success for a film professional, she says. “Before a film is signed, the excitement is about the character. It is about how much I can bite and chew the part, and have fun with it. Once that’s done, my role ends. Nonetheless, as an actor it is equally important for me to have the critics appreciate and for the numbers to reflect it at the box office,” she says, momentarily stopping to predict the next question in line.
Asked if there is a lingering fear that this love and popularity will vanish some day, Deepika’s smile disappears for a moment behind pensive expressions. She recovers swiftly before responding, “Love and popularity are two different things. Your fans after a point love you beyond just the films you do or the characters you play. After a point, they are with you on the journey of life,” she asserts.
“They are with you with all the ups and downs. Sometimes I feel I have reached that stage, and another time, I confess to myself with all humility that I am not yet in that phase. I wouldn’t know how it would feel if it all vanishes one day. What I would like to believe is when you love somebody it transcends the figures on the box office and the characters you have played,” she signs off with poise.

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