Those are debutante actress Deepika Padukone’s first lines in Om Shanti Om. Read on as she tells us all about the film…
Model-turned-actress Deepika Padukone’s debut film Om Shanti Om releases on November 9, and needless to say, she’s as excited as she’s nervous. However, this Capricorn woman is quite levelheaded for her age (a mere …).
In an exclusive chat, Deepika talks about her father, former badminton champion Prakash Padukone, OSO, co-star/producer Shah Rukh Khan and director Farah Khan. And fields questions about her various link-ups!
How did OSO happen?
When Farah was casting for Happy New Year, she saw my commercials on TV and called my agent. I met her when she was rehearsing at a dance hall in Juhu. When that film didn’t happen, she offered me OSO. Farah took care of me right from the first meeting, introducing me to Shah Rukh Khan and ensuring that I was comfortable with him. Six months prior to shooting, we frequently met up for lunches and dinners.
Lets talk about your role.
In the first half, I play Shantipriya, an actress in the 1970s. What really excited me about the character was that it’s based in the ’70s so I got to experiment with different looks. Combined with Farah Khan’s sensibilities of making bright, colourful, fun films, it was irresistible. I also got to play two characters, which are in great contrast to each other. Manish Malhotra (designer), Bharat and Doris (make-up artistes) and I got to experiment a lot.
Working with SRK…
He makes everyone feel comfortable. He was non-starry and very down-to-earth. There were days when we would sit down and rehearse for important scenes. If there were difficult scenes for me, he would take time out and practise my lines with me even when he wasn’t required on the sets. He would stay till I finished the shot and leave only after it was okayed.
How was the first day’s first shot?
It went off nicely. Farah shot no-dialogue scenes for the first couple of days as she knew I was nervous. Gradually, she built up bigger dialogues as I eased myself into the routine. My first dialogue was, ‘Kutte, kameene! Bhagwan ke liye mujhe chhod de!’ As it was a funny sequence, I didn’t fumble (laughs).
How is Farah as a director?
What I like about her is that she tells you what she wants but also gives you space to do what you want. Farah is very honest and asks for your opinion. I had heard stories about her being rude, but that’s so not true. I can’t think of a single day when she lost her cool with anyone.
Apparently, she once made you cry?
It was just one day that she was upset with me. I was fumbling with my lines as it was the first day of my second look and we were pressed for time. I was nervous and Farah was in a hurry and she said something. Nobody noticed then, but when we saw the scene on the monitor someone noticed a tear in my eye. I didn’t want them to know that I had cried.
Ever thought of following in your dad’s footsteps?
No. I played national level badminton in school but took a break to complete my board exams. I didn’t get back to taking up badminton seriously as it was a hobby. I didn’t enjoy playing it competitively. I used to model as a child. My first ad as an adult was Lyril soap. Today, I am Maybelline’s international face, the brand ambassador for Levi’s denims and Parachute coconut oil.
How did your folks react to your acting decision?
They have always supported me and it’s kept me going. No one from my family is from the film industry, so they don’t know what it is about. I am learning the ropes. My parents were very happy that at this age I have got such a big break.
Any advice from papa?
I like it when my family sits and talks to me about life and what’s good for me. It keeps me grounded. Dad always says dedication, determination and discipline is what’s required to achieve what one wants in life.
You were dating Ranbir Kapoor?
I am not talking about my personal life.
Are you dating Nihar Pandya?
I’m single currently. That should answer all your questions.
Among SRK, Salman and Aamir, if you had a choice of leading man?
Shah Rukh Khan.
One actress you would never like to work with?
It’s too early to say. I haven’t interacted with anyone personally yet.
If Saif Ali Khan told you that when he saw you kuch kuch hota hai…
I’d say, thanks, but no thanks! I’m a big fan of yours and would love to do a film with you though!
Three favourite actresses…
Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai.
All-time favourite film?
An action film like Matrix or Charlie’s Angels