Chit Chat

I am over Ranbir: Deepika

She may seem reserved, but Deepika Padukone admits she’s competitive with everyone, friends and co-actors she dates included

You are known to be very intuitive about your work. Does that intuition guide all your decisions?
Absolutely. There’s always a hunger in me to try something new, or to play a role like the one I have in ” Lafangey Parindey”– of a visually impaired girl. That said, this was also the kind of role that needed a certain khullapan, you know, a certain confidence about your own self, which brings about freedom to do things like this. People usually say that I am very reserved and very shy, so I found this to be particularly challenging in that respect.

Professional challenges to change the public’s perception about yourself?
It can actually mean a couple of things. It could mean that I’m shy and reserved as a person, but can mould myself completely differently as an actor. Or, it could also mean that I can bring about that change in myself.

Tattoos are usually read as signs of rebelliousness, and perhaps a bit of khullapan too. Are your two tattoos also a reflection of that spirit?
I’ve never discussed my tattoos and don’t want to do so now.
Your confidence, it’s often said, is even reflected in your gait and something as simple as your posture…
Is it? Thank you. These things are always reflections about the way you feel about yourself. The way you perceive yourself reflects in your person, even in a thing like your posture. Plus, I do a lot of yoga and I’ve also been a dancer. Perhaps my Bharatanatyam training reflects in my posture. They always teach you to stand tall and confident.

Seven films, several tribulations and adulations later, it’s certainly not just Bharatanatyam that gives you confidence, is it?
Frankly, it’s only been an upward growth for me since I’ve come to the industry. And with the work I am doing, I’ll only learn from every actor and every director I work with. The appreciation is only getting better each day, and I love working hard for it.

Have you achieved the goals you had in mind when you came as a beginner?
I have just started. I am seven films old and I have grown as a person. I love my job, and enjoy what I am doing and I hope I don’t achieve that stage soon where I am satisfied with what I’ve got. If I get that satisfaction now, there will be no fun left in achieving anything.

Define the satisfaction that you don’t have and don’t want yet.
I’m very critical of myself and the work that I do. I always want to better myself and continuously keep evaluating myself. Even though I give my hundred per cent, whenever I go back, I feel I could’ve done better, could have improved in a certain way. In that sence, I’m a fighter. I don’t let go. I keep on fighting till the end.

Has there ever been a moment when you haven’t wanted to fight back?
No. I’m very, very aggressive. It doesn’t come across in my personality, people say, but you have to remember that I was an athlete, a sportsperson. For me, competition is very important and winning
is everything. I need to be able to win. I have always been competitive about my work.

Isn’t that strong a competitive spirit harmful? What happens when you date a fellow actor; doesn’t the competition threaten to the relationship?
Competition at every level is good. As long as it only improves you and it is healthy, there should be no issues because of anything. I’m competitive with all my friends and every person close to me. Even if it is about friends, or if I am dating an actor or someone else too, I am a competitive person, but for my own growth. As long as you are not stepping on anyone to grow, and you are improving yourself, there should be no issue. It only becomes difficult when it is unhealthy.

Your friends and loved ones don’t get bothered by this competitive spirit?
No, they’ve never been bothered by it. People who I am close to, know that competition is very important for me. It keeps pushing me to work harder.

How does your family figure into your scheme of things?
I discuss every single thing with my parents. It’s always nice to know that you have them to fall back on and discuss everything. The industry is so demanding, I am really glad that my parents have been with me at every stage of my life. They appreciate whatever work I do, but are also critical and never hesitate to tell me so. Their honesty keeps me grounded.

Are they critical of your decisions?
Somewhere, when they allowed me to come to this industry, I know they expressed their trust in me in their own way. My parents trusted me to do the right things, the right kind of work, the right kind of films… and considering that I moved out pretty early, their trust was very important for me.

How early was that?
I started modelling when I was 19 and moved to Mumbai when I was 20 or

You said that you’ve learnt that people have a basic need to know. Is it the same need to know about your personal life that you are catering to when you make constant appearances with Siddhartha Mallya, as an answer to your status quo?
I’d just like to let it be as it is at the moment and not say anything on this.

Your professional status quo is quite clear, though. You don’t have any qualms about working with Ranbir Kapoor. Have you cast a line between the personal and the professional that clinically?
Sometimes in life, you learn to accept that certain things did not work out and you forget and move on. Where work is involved, you focus on just that. As far as projects with him are concerned, if there’s a good film and a great script, then why not?

So, you have forgotten and moved on?


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