Deepika Padukone: “People always thought I am a Bengali girl because of my big eyes”
he dressed herself as the perfect Indian woman when she made a recent trip to the city of joy. Dressed in a heavy Sabyasachi anarkali ensemble and pairing them up with chunk pieces, Deepika glowed with all her glitterati as we kept on shooting questions at her.
With Ram Leela up for release and people appreciating her look and her chemistry with co-star Ranveer Singh, our Little Birdie caught up with the gorgeous beauty as she bespectacled all of us with her intelligence and shimmer!
You are doing a romantic drama after sometime and when it comes to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, he is the best to offer such kind of films. Does this genre allure you at all?
Well I loved Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, both made by Sanjay ji and I recently loved Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. I loved the film, not because I starred in it but because I genuinely loved watching the film as an audience. Maine us film ko bohut hi zyada enjoy kiya. So I am glad that out of the three films from the genre that I really loved, two are made by the same film maker who has made Ram Leela for me. I just pray that Ram Leela also amasses the same kind of love and respect that Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam did when they released.
If you had to pick one shot with Ranveer that has been the most memorable to you, which one would that be from the film?
I would say it is the entire experience of working with someone like Ranveer that has been memorable to me. Every day on a Sanjay Leela Bhansali set is a new day, its new challenge. You never know what to expect and that is because of his way of directing his films. He never approaches a scene the way you normally do in any other film. He is someone, who like Ranveer says, makes a movie on the set. He writes from the morning and then your day starts. He doesn’t believe in giving his actors a head-on on what they have to be working on the next day, which is how most films work. When it is him, you have to take on each day as it comes. We go in the morning; there is no pressure about having to finish the film. You are really just taking each day as it comes and enjoying the moments being on his set as well. So you go in the morning, discuss what scenes you are going to shoot, rehearse it till afternoon and then you break for lunch. Post lunch, you get ready your hair, makeup and costume and all of that. After that, you just do one or two shots maybe, by the evening and you pack up. So his style is very very different. Every day has been a challenge, every day has been a day of anxiety and nervousness as you don’t know what to expect. So I would say the entire journey.
A section of the media and some protestors have considered that Ram Leela hurt people’s sentiments with its content. What would be your take on it?
I just want to say that our film Ram Leela has been passed by the censor certificate and as far as films and cinema are concerned I don’t think there’s any authority higher than our Censor Board. The Censor Board passes every film, keeping everyone’s sentiments and keeping the entire nation in mind. Having said that, I would like to add that films have always been made to entertain the audiences! We have always made films to make people laugh, to make people cry. Movies are made to entertain and at no point do we see anyone making a film with an intention of hurting anybody’s sentiments. This is a love story. It is not a political drama to hurt anybody’s sentiments. It is a very, very, pure, honest, passionate, intense love story from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s school of filmmaking. It stars Ranveer and me and there is no content to hurt anyone.
You played a Punjabi belle in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, a South Indian in Chennai Express, a Gujrati in Ram Leela now. When do we see you donning a Bengali avatar?
I have always been obsessed with playing a Bengali girl. I really thought that at one time, I would really get to do that with Pradeep Sarkar, because I used to do a lot of ad films with him and the way he has always presented everyone in that Bengali avatar, no one else has ever been able to do that. He makes it look immensely satisfying to the eyes and I love him for that. But let’s see. I know I love the way Bengali women look. In fact when I was a model, many of the people around me used to think that I am a Bengali because of my big round eyes. So yes I love the Bengali look, people already thought or considered me Bengali even before I started off in films and I also love the traditional attire that Bengali people wear. It is just awesome. So the only thing left for me now is to play a Bengali girl.
One thing you learnt from Ranveer Singh as a performer?
Well Ranveer is hugely uninhibited and impatient on screen and off it too. But the best part about him is that he is a hugely driven person. He works his heart out and he is possibly one of the best people I have met in my entire life. He might look like the gaali ka chichora from Ram Leela but he also has a different shade to his character, one that is intelligent and emotional like Varun from Lootera!
Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, how has it been working with the task master?
Well I think when someone calls him the task master, I found the term too relative. He makes his cinema in a certain way, it looks in a certain manner and he definitely has expectations from the people he hires whether it is his assistants, his actors. So I think that is a very relative question but it has been a very memorable experience and a huge learning experience for me more than that.
Pictures by: Akash Goswami