‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ — but already Bollywood is predicting that Deepika Padukone is going to be the next big thing on the silver screen. The lanky model from Bangalore has made people sit up and notice her. She’s as much known for her personal life as she is for her professional progress, because Deepika is focused on whatever she does. Now, audiences are waiting to see how she shapes up in ‘Chandni Chowk To China’ opposite superstar Akshay Kumar…
How was last year, your first in Bollywood?
Deepika Padukone: Wonderful. I have learned and got so much in such a short time. My excitement and anxiety is the same as it was before my debut film. I think, even 15 years later, I will still have Friday night fever.
Like in ‘OSO’, you’re playing a double role in ‘Chandni Chowk To China’…
Deepika Padukone: Yeah, I play Meow — a sexy and brash girl, and Sakhi — who is very tacky with over-the-top makeup. They’re contrasting personalities, but very interesting. That filmmakers believe I can carry off a double role so early in my career, is a huge boost for my confidence.
You learned martial arts for this film… serious stuff?
Deepika Padukone: I was always into sports so that helped me pick this up easily. I started training in jiujitsu six months before shooting. It was torturous in the beginning. But I think it’s all paid off. I won’t say I’m an expert, but yes, I can take care of myself. I can bajao and lagao with my fists and kicks!
You shot on the Great Wall of China…
Deepika Padukone: I always thought I would go there as a tourist, but look… this is the first Indian film to be shot there and I’m part of it! I took lots of pictures, videos, of myself and with tourists.
Rumours are that Ranbir and you have problems…
Deepika Padukone: Rubbish! I celebrated my birthday with him yesterday. I’m very happy and secure in my relationship with him.
Is there any marriage commitment?
Deepika Padukone: Of course. We have discussed it. But right now both of us need to focus on our careers. What tomorrow holds for us I do not know. I’m committed to my career till the end of 2010.
You seem to have patched up with Sonam Kapoor…
Deepika Padukone: There wasn’t any fight for us to patch up. Our films released at the same time. Today we have become close friends. We hook up, go to the spa, watch films and generally party together. She is a warm and sweet girl.
You’ve worked with Shahrukh and Akshay. Next?
Deepika Padukone: My next film is with Saif and is releasing next year. I have signed one more with Akshay called Housefull. I want to work with Aamir and Salman Khan, too. These actors are getting hotter and better with age.