Veronica & Padmavati: The characters who won’t exit Deepika’s system!

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Come November 9, Deepika Padukone will complete 10 full years in Hindi films. If she started off with a bang – a Shah Rukh-starrer and a double role, no less in Om Shanti Om – what followed has been even more scintillating. Today she is Bollywood’s No.1 heroine, feted for her performances, loved by fans, pursued madly by the top filmmakers.

The rough edges have been smoothened; under that poised, flawless exterior, Deepika has learnt quickly and slaved hard to reach where she has – top of the heap.

A good part of that drive to stay relevant, must come from her attitude – that of feeling like a kid in a candy store, who has just started out and has so much to both give and learn. The Padmavati beauty insists that this aspect of her personality hasn’t changed in all these ten years. Today, she feels even more alive as an actor than ever before. The decade has been one of learning and growth. She states that what she is today is the sum of all her experiences over the past decade, whether it came by simply working with the people she has, being on a film set, making good or bad choices, and receiving both criticism as well as praise for her performances. Every new film, for her, is an opportunity to make more mistakes and correct them as well. It’s the reason why even Padmavati ends up feeling like her debut film, to her!

The film sees her in the titular role; a huge acknowledgment of her star power. She sees it as a ‘massive responsibility’ instead, even as she accepts that such films don’t happen often enough. Besides the director’s vision, and a muse to do justice to it, the actress herself must be able to inspire faith in the producers to make hefty investments, she points out. The fact that she amply does, remains unsaid but is entirely self-evident.

Along the journey, she carries bits and pieces of some of her characters within her. And Padmavati seems destined to go the ‘Veronica’ way – her flawed, poignant character from Cocktail has also refused to exit her system.

Meanwhile, she’s hoping for more defining moments in cinema, not just for herself but for her contemporaries too. After 10 years, one can afford to be a little generous, we guess!

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