About

Deepika Padukone

By Sabyasachi Mukherji

Summer of 2005. Backstage. At Fashion Week, New Delhi. A gaggle of girls were sitting and chatting, laughing animatedly. At one corner sat a lanky girl, oblivious to the commotion around her. Almost with meditative professionalism. “Ah, so that is Prakash Padukone’s daughter,” I whispered to my choreographer. I was a huge fan of her father. I still am. I guess we both were loners and didn’t end up speaking to each other. 

‘Nair Sisters’ was the name of the collection and the girls were supposed to be channeling nerdy awkwardness. Deepikas front teeth were blackened, she was given a unibrow! Not your conventional definition of beauty and not the best portfolio for an aspiring actress! So much for first meetings!

Cut to my Calcutta store. Deepika was shooting for ‘Piku’ and she came to say hello (she had worn my clothes plenty of times before, but this was the first time we spoke in person). We bonded over street food. The girl has an enormous appetite and I love women who like to eat. You can trust them. Little did I know that our small interlude that day would lead to many collaborations and a great friendship. 

I have come to infer that we are similar creatures. We both work hard, are disciplined, strive for excellence and are outsiders who have found success in our respective industries, on our own terms. And when our work is done, we both head back home. To our family, our friends, familiar comforts and our food.

Biography

Deepika Padukone is an Indian actress, daughter of the world-renowned badminton player Prakash Padukone. At 16, Deepika, who was playing National level Badminton, gave her passion for acting a chance, independently moved to Mumbai and is today a powerful brand in herself.

Her acting journey in Bollywood commenced with Om Shanti Om in 2007, a film that brought national recognition to her and won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Post this, she acted in close to 30 movies across genres, many of which rank among the highest grossing Indian films. In 2017, she also made her Hollywood debut opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage which received critical & commercial success.

Known to be the highest paid actress, she played the role of Rani Padmini in Padmaavat, which set new a benchmark for a woman-led film to have crossed the milestone of Rs. 300 crores at the box office!

Deepika’s global dominance in the field of art, entrepreneurial affiliations and tenacious voice towards mental health make her arguably the biggest youth role model in India which is corroborated in her social media strength, making her one of the Most Followed Asians in the World.

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The Live Love Laugh
Foundation

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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