Deepika Padukone Interview: I was certain that 'Padmaavat' would release!
In an interview with BollywoodMDB, Deepika Padukone talks about her film co-stars and director.
Deepika Padukone has played a lot of characters in a career that has clocked a decade in the showbiz, but none like queen Padmavati. Touted as the leading cinematic siren of Indian cinema, Padukone has mesmerized the whole nation with her stunning performance in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial, Padmaavat. After the massive success of the costume drama, BollywoodMDB correspondent Mohnish Singh talked to the star about the phenomenal response the film has received, co-actors Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor and, of course, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Q. As we all know that Padmaavat faced backlashes from several fringe groups and after a series of hurdles, it finally released and is doing phenomenal business at the box office. How does that feel?
A. It's very surreal feeling, to be very honest. We have gone through so much, and that certainly doesn’t mean about the episodes in the past, but it is just about the film, starting from the casting of the film to production, visiting the sets every day. It definitely is not easy for the kind of film we have shot and the impact that it created, the various challenges and roadblocks that it experienced along the way. I look at it in two parts. The success and the box office numbers, all of that feels great. You always want all your films to do well and that is the definition of success with regards to the film and this comprises the first part. And the other part consists of the intangible things like the love, appreciation and adulation and, most importantly, the blessings. I have had successful films before, films that made 200-300 crores but it is kind of unique with this particular film. In the past couple of days, I have not been able to articulate the feeling. I feel I am protected and connected to people all over.
Q. Did you at any point of time feel that the movie may not release, considering the fact that it ran into controversies right from the beginning?
A. I would have given my life if I had to, to release the film. Because I feel that is my right. As the citizen of this country, I feel that when you create something, people should have the opportunity to view, to enjoy and experience it. If this film took me down that path where I would have to go to the extreme way and do whatever it took to release it, I would have done that. I didn’t lose faith. I was certain that it would release. I didn’t know when it would happen but I was very sure that it would happen.
Q. Did you notice any kind of changes in the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali from his first movie Ramleela to this movie?
I have seen some changes. He had a sort of eerie calm on this film. Without an ounce of doubt, he was confident about the characters. He is extremely clear about the subject and when it comes to Padmavati, he had the sense of clarity about the character of the woman, her beliefs, what does she stand for. He was like a horse with blinders and he knew exactly where he was headed. After working with him for over three films, I can surely say that he was confident than any other film he actually directed in these many years.
Q. How has your working relationship with Sanjay Leela Bhansali evolved over the years?
A. I believe I share a very spiritual relationship with him because we don’t communicate much as I believe that whatever I do, I express it with my eyes. We didn’t communicate much during Ramleela but we communicate even lesser now. We look at each other and we know what the other person is thinking. It is a lot about the faith that he has instilled in me as an actor. We do not discuss scenes and the character. In fact, there is no discussion. It just means that there is an immense amount of faith and trust.
Q. Ranveer Singh has been praising you a lot since the release of the film. What would you like to say about him and his character in the film?
A. I can sense and see his growth as an actor with Bajirao Mastani, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and as Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat. For him and Shahid Kapoor, I have seen that both have been extremely generous with Padmaavat. Ranveer was asked not to do a negative role, an antagonist like Khilji at this stage in his career. There were people who were apprehensive about Shahid doing the film may be because of the fact that he was entering a new territory in that sense, as all of us have worked before and he was new to the kind of character he was playing. Many people discouraged them from doing the film. So in a lot of ways, he overcame all those obstacles, hurdles, doubts and eventually did the film purely for the love of the film. They have been generous as artists.
Q. In an interview for Bajirao Mastani, you said that Mastani had been the toughest role till date. So after Padmavat have your views changed over your toughest performance?
A. I am glad that it has been the toughest and it should. Every role has to be better than your previous film otherwise I feel I am not doing something right as an actor. After playing Padmavati, I have seen that both are warriors in their own life. Mastani was a warrior who was on par with the man and she stood up for herself. Rani Padmavati in that sense is a warrior too but is completely different. She is a warrior at heart but not necessarily the one who goes to the battlefield.