Indian film actress, womens rights and mental health advocate
"Deepika Padukone is an Indian film actress. One of the highest-paid actresses in India, Padukone is the recipient of several awards, including three Filmfare Awards. She features in listings of the nation's most popular personalities.
Padukone, the daughter of the badminton player Prakash Padukone, was born in Copenhagen and raised in Bangalore. As a teenager, she played badminton in national level championships but left her career in the sport to become a fashion model. She soon received offers for film roles and made her acting debut in 2006 as the title character of the Kannada film Aishwarya. Padukone then played a dual role in her first Bollywood release, the romance Om Shanti Om (2007), which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Padukone received praise for portraying the lead roles in the romance Love Aaj Kal (2009) and the drama Lafangey Parindey (2010), but her performances in the romance Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) and the comedy Housefull (2010) were met with negative reviews.
The romantic comedy Cocktail (2012) marked a turning point in Padukone's career, earning her praise and Best Actress nominations at several award ceremonies. She established herself with starring roles in the romantic comedies Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and Chennai Express (2013), the heist comedy Happy New Year (2014), and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period dramas Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018), all of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. Padukone's acclaimed portrayal of a character based on Juliet in Bhansali's tragic romance Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and a headstrong architect in the comedy-drama Piku (2015) earned her two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress. Her first project in Hollywood came with the action film xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017).
Alongside her acting career, Padukone participates in stage shows, has written columns for an Indian newspaper, is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products, and is vocal about issues such as feminism and depression. She has designed her own line of clothing for women and is the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which creates awareness on mental health in India.
Padukone has admitted to being socially awkward as a child and did not have many friends. The focus of her life was badminton, which she played competitively from a young age. Describing her daily routine in a 2012 interview, Padukone said, "I would wake up at five in the morning, go for physical training, go to school, again go for playing badminton, finish my homework, and go to sleep." Padukone continued to pursue a career in badminton throughout her school years and played the sport in national level championships. She also played baseball in a few state level tournaments. While concentrating on her education and sporting career, Padukone also worked as a child model, first appearing in a couple of advertising campaigns at the age of eight. In the tenth grade, she changed focus and decided to become a fashion model. She later explained, "I realised that I was playing the game only because it ran in the family. So, I asked my father if I could give up the game and he wasn't upset at all." In 2004, she began a full-time career as a model under the tutelage of Prasad Bidapa.
Early in her career, Padukone gained recognition with a television commercial for the soap Liril and modelled for various other brands and products. In 2005, she made her runway debut at the Lakme Fashion Week for designer Suneet Varma and won the "Model of the Year" award at the Kingfisher Fashion Awards. Padukone's fame increased when she appeared in a highly popular print campaign for the 2006 Kingfisher Calendar; the designer Wendell Rodricks commented, "Since Aishwarya Rai, we haven't had a girl as beautiful and fresh." Rodricks had spotted her at a Ganjam jewellery class he was teaching and signed her up with the Matrix agency. At the age of 21, Padukone relocated to Mumbai and stayed at her aunt's home. That year, she gained wider recognition by featuring in the music video for Himesh Reshammiya's song "Naam Hai Tera."
Padukone soon began to receive offers for film roles. Believing herself to be too inexperienced as an actor, she instead enrolled for a course at Anupam Kher's film academy. Following much media speculation, the director Farah Khan, who had noticed her in Reshammiya's music video, made the decision to cast her for a role in Happy New Year.
Padukone announced in 2006 that she would make her film debut with Aishwarya, a Kannada film directed by Indrajit Lankesh. The romantic comedy was a remake of the Telugu film Manmadhudu, and she was cast in the title role opposite the actor Upendra. The film proved to be a major commercial success…
In 2013, Padukone established herself as a leading actress of contemporary Hindi cinema by featuring in four of the top-grossing productions of the year. She collaborated with Saif Ali Khan for the fourth time (alongside John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez) in Abbas-Mustan's Race 2, an ensemble action thriller that served as a sequel to Race (2008). The film received predominantly negative reviews, but with a total collection of ₹1.62 billion (US$25 million), it proved to be a commercial success…
[In 2009], she participated in the World 10K Bangalore marathon, which raised ₹13.1 million (US$200,000) in support of 81 NGOs. In 2010, Padukone adopted the Maharashtrian village of Ambegaon as part of NDTV's Greenathon Campaign, to provide the village with a regular supply of electricity. She visited Indian jawans (troops) in Jammu, for an Independence Day special episode of NDTV's reality show Jai Jawaan.
Padukone took part in the opening ceremony of the third season of the Indian Premier League at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Three years later, she performed alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Pitbull for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League. In 2014, she participated in a concert tour across North America, entitled "SLAM! The Tour", in which she performed alongside her co-stars from Happy New Year. Padukone has also been involved with the Olympic Gold Quest team, established by her father and Geet Sethi to support Indian athletes at the Olympic Games, along with sports personalities such as Leander Paes and Viswanathan Anand and several other actors. In 2013, she launched her own line of clothing for women, in association with the retail chain Van Heusen. Two years later, Padukone collaborated with the fashion portal Myntra to launch another line under her brand "All About You".
Padukone has also been outspoken on issues such as feminism and has said, "New feminism isn't about being aggressive; it's about reaching the top yet being soft. It's about being you — feminine, strong and full of will power.” In a 2015 interview, Padukone spoke about her personal experience of overcoming depression, and in October that year she formed a foundation to create awareness on mental health in India, named The Live Love Laugh Foundation. The following year, she launched a campaign named More Than Just Sad to assist general physicians in their treatment of patients suffering from depression or anxiety. Also in 2016, the foundation teamed with Facebook and the AASRA organisation to launch multilingual tools and educational resources in Facebook's networking site to support people with suicidal tendencies. Padukone became the brand ambassador for the NGO Indian Psychiatric Society and on her foundation's first anniversary, the two organisations collaborated to launch the video and poster campaign #DobaraPoocho dedicated to victims and survivors of depression." (1)