Twenty-one brands, ten years of persistence presence and five 100 crores hit films. The only name that emanates is Deepika Padukone. Deepika was born in Copenhagen in Denmark on 5th January 1986 to Prakash and Ujjala Padukone who then moved to Mangalore in Karnataka when she was one year old. Her father is a former professional badminton player, her mother works as a travel agent, and her younger sister is a golfer.
Deepika completed her studies up to the sixth form, where she attended Sophia High School and Mount Carmel College. She attended Anupam Kher’s acting school ‘An Actor Prepares’ where she trained to become an actor. One of the many statements made by her has been ‘’Acting has never been just a job for me. I don’t think it ever can be’’. She enjoys the fact that she is in a place where she can choose her own work. But films and brands are not the only types of work that she has indulged into.
The Hindi Cinema (Bollywood) actress began her career in 2007 and was initially spotted in the music composer/singer Himesh Reshammiya’s song ‘Naam Hai Tera’ by the choreographer/director Farah Khan. Not many people are aware of Himesh giving the diva her first break and that she later went onto making her debut appearance in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om.
Currently, she is the only actress who has successfully delivered four films back to back that made it to 100 crore collections and more. These included Race 2, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ramleela. She then went on to make many films that critically judged her as an actress but went onto gain international fame by starring in a Hollywood film opposite Vin Diesel named xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
Before joining Bollywood, she played badminton at international level. Hailing from a background influenced by sport, she too would have become a national badminton player just like her father Prakash Padukone whom she idolizes the most. However, at the age of 17, she drifted away from sports and entered the world of modeling. She was awarded the ‘’Model of the Year’’ in 2005 at the Kingfisher fashion awards and was praised by the international fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, seen as a ‘beautiful and fresh’ girl since the arrival of Aishwarya Rai. She made her debut appearance as a model in 2005 with the Lakme Fashion week soon after which she featured in the Kingfisher Calendar.
Deepika has been very concerned and open about her mental health and suffered from depression in 2014, but she does not feel that this state of mind has completely left her. She founded Live Love Laugh foundation in 2015 which aims to focus on cases of depression in India along with creating awareness and supporting people. This not only is for those who struggle with depression but also other mental disorders which are not widely discussed. Deepika also launched a school awareness program in 2016 spending 90 minutes with teachers and students on the subject.
When Deepika was diagnosed with depression and anxiety she was shooting the Farah Khan film Happy New Year and most of the film was shot during that phase. She consulted her mother as well as a going through counseling and was advised to take medication. At that point, she realized how important it is to destigmatize mental health issues and that people need to be able to talk about the subject more freely – something which she felt she could not do. However, going through this phase has helped her to understand her life and process information in a way that she had not done before. Deepika feels ‘liberated and free’ knowing that the world is aware of her experience. On the contrary, Padmavat her 2018 Bollywood film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali focuses on a historic character that commits suicide which was a disturbing process for the star as this brought back memories of the dark and directionless days of her life.