Deepika Padukone

By Kabir Khan


It was a long shot.

So I took out a crisp new white shirt the day I was going to narrate the script to Deepika. Yes, of course the story was truly inspiring and the role was genuinely important, but getting a superstar on whose name big films are mounted to agree to a role that was not the predominant character of the film was always going to be a long shot.

This was the very first time I was going to narrate the script of 83 to anyone. Since I respect and admire Deepika’s sensibility as an artist it was important for me to see how the screenplay communicated to her. By the time we reached the interval point I had got my validation.

On the drive back, in the excitement of Deepika being a part of my film, I spilled my beetroot juice on the “crisp new white shirt”! No problem I thought, I will get a new one.

As we started filming, with every scene that Deepika performed I could see how an actor can truly begin to embody the character she is playing. There’s a certain ease with which Deepika acts – there are no demands, there are no crutches. In fact, on the days that I was shooting with Deepika, I was more of an audience than a director. I would sit excitedly in front of the monitor and see Romi Dev come alive. Plus, her infectious smile not only lights up the screen but also makes the set come alive with a joyful energy.

And in the months that followed, I also saw the greatest quality that any artist can have – courage. Deepika is brave not only in her professional choices but also in the choices she makes about what she stands for. And that bravery, I salute!

So while we wait to unveil our film to the world, I still happily wear that no longer new or crisp white shirt with its faint pink stains all over the front.


Deepika Padukone is a world-renowned actress, fashion icon and mental health ambassador from India.

Her father, Prakash Padukone, is a former badminton world champion. Deepika too was a national-level badminton player until she gave up the sport at the age of 16 to pursue her love for acting. And the rest as they say, is history!

In 2005,Deepika moved from Bangalore where she grew up, to Mumbai,the heart of India’s film industry. Starting with her first movie in 2007, she has over the last decade, acted in close to 30 feature films across genres and won several awards including 3 Filmfare awards and 8 Filmfare nominations for her iconic performances. Many of her films also rank among the highest grossing films of all time.

One of the biggest brands on Social Media, Deepika enjoys an enormous digital footprint of more than 100 million users. Deepika is accounted as the Most Followed Asian Woman on Twitter, with over 26 Million followers. Currently at 43 Million followers on Instagram, she is the most mentioned name on the platform in India.

With a staggering reach of 1.5 billion global users on an average every month, Deepika has been credited as the most searched female celebrity in India.

She has been named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and Forbes magazine has listed her amongst the 10 highest-paid actresses in the world!

In 2014, Deepika was diagnosed with clinical depression and sought professional help to aid her recovery.

In June 2015, she founded The Live Love Laugh Foundation, a not-for-profit that aims to champion the cause of mental health awareness in India with a specific focus on stress, anxiety and depression.

Deepika has been touted as one of Indian Cinema’s most loved and successful actresses till date and her achievements have made her one of the country’s biggest role models for the youth in recent times.

With her talent, commitment, dedication, discipline and hard work, Deepika Padukone has already achieved iconic status even though her journey has only just begun.




Awards & Accolades

The Live Love Laugh

At the peak of her career in 2014, Deepika Padukone started feeling low, empty and directionless. She experienced a sick, pit-ish feeling in her stomach for days on end. On seeking help from mental health professionals, she was diagnosed with depression and soon after, began treatment. While researching her own illness she was exposed to two stark realities –  Mental illness was a taboo topic in India like elsewhere in the world,  and the lack of information and stigma associated with mental illness made it difficult for those who are suffering to seek the help they need. She sought to change this. On New Year’s Day…
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