Deepika Padukone has had a rollercoaster journey in Bollywood till now. As the actress celebrates her 33rd birthday on Saturday, here’s looking at the ups and downs, mainly the turning points that were crucial in the actress’ 11-year journey in the film world.
1. ‘Om Shanti Om’
Deepika Padukone was a known face, courtesy her surname (she is a daughter of yesteryear badminton ace Prakash Padukone), popularity as a model (Vijay Mallya’s famous Kingfisher calendar among those on her portfolio), dance moves in Himesh Reshammiya’s music video and a Kannada film ‘Aishwarya.’ But it’s ‘Om Shanti Om’ that catapulted her to overnight stardom. A debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan is something very few have been blessed with till now; Farah Khan decided to go ahead with a new face for one of the most talked-about movies of 2007. The newcomer showcased her potential in the period ‘masala’ film and her hand gesture in the song ‘Aankhon Mein Teri’ and ‘Ek Chutki Sindoor...’ dialogue still are among her most popular career moments even today. The 33-year-old bagged a Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role.
After her debut, Deepika continued her successful run with ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno', 'Love Aaj Kal', ‘Housefull’, (‘Chandni Chowk to China' and ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’ between were unsuccessful). However, the actress went through her worst phase when back-to-back films ‘Lafangey Parindey’, ‘Break Ke Baad' and ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey' turned out to be duds and multi-starrers like ‘Aarakshan' and ‘Desi Boyz’ didn’t do much to redeem her decline. It’s here that she featured in ‘Cocktail’ in 2012, a movie where she was seen vibrant and friendly on one hand and destructive and depressed on the other. The movie apart from being a much-needed success for her at that time, was the proof of her acting skills as never seen before. Her role as Veronica is till today considered arguably the biggest turning point in her career.
3. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, start of a superhit partnership with Sanjay Leela Bhansali
‘Race 2’, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and ‘Chennai Express’ were big hits, but none of them came as a surprise as they were out-and-out commercial ventures and her acting and glamour were talked about in it. But it was ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela' that provided the actress important ‘firsts’. The movie was her first film with filmmaking ace Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The movie, set on the lines of the iconic ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was a start of a partnership that created a hat-trick, with ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and ‘Padmaavat’ as well, all of which were big hits. The movie also fetched her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. Moreover, it was her first movie with husband Ranveer Singh too. The steamy chemistry of the characters that the two brought on screen, played a major role in them falling in love, which they carried forward with their chemistry in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and buzz despite no scenes together in ‘Padmaavat.’
4. ‘Piku’ and ‘Tamasha’
After the much-lauded ‘Cocktail’, Deepika featured in multiple hits, also including ‘Happy New Year’ and off-beat ‘Finding Fanny’, but the year 2015 was perhaps the best year in her career. Her films with two acclaimed filmmakers, Shoojit Sircar and Imtiaz Ali, brilliantly accomplished her as a force to reckon with. ‘Piku’ fetched her second Filmfare Award for Best Actress, while the fact her performance was more talked about than the reunion with rumoured ex Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Tamasha’, is a testimony of the impact she left with the movie.
5. ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’
How many Indian actresses have featured in a popular Hollywood franchise opposite an internationally known star? ) Deepika became the first one to make an international foray on such a level (Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Baywatch’ opposite Dwayne Johnson was yet to release then) with the movie and shared screen space with Vin Diesel in the action movie. Moreover, the director of the movie DJ Caruso has confirmed that she will also be a part of the sequel. The actress seems to have got choosy about her next international venture, but we hope she signs another Hollywood movie soon.
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