It is different when you reach the deep end of Deepika. She is natural, free-flowing, yet striking her diva-esque flair at all times. With soul unveiled and emotions exhaled. No hint or trace of competitiveness, calculation or compare. Just a young woman - vulnerable, venerated and well ... loved and desired too.



Even eloquent and 'zen-like' when posed with questions that push borders. She feels no rivalry in real-life, but for her upcoming epic film Bajirao Mastani, she bloodies her soul and goes to war for love. This is Deepika Padukone. To the world- a star, a diva. At core, a woman - an actress peddling her wares and her immense talent.

Two men on set - one (Bhansali) with a penchant for perfection, the other (Ranveer) with excessive energy. How did you keep pace?

I don't try to keep up with anyone else. I am clear about my energy and understanding with my director. Ranveer and I are so different, and Sanjay sir (Bhansali) and Ranveer are so different. The best thing is that our energies come together, and we all find our own rhythm. We have done Ram Leela together, which felt like the toughest film of my life. After doing Bajirao Mastani, I think that was a breeze. To tell you the truth, Bhansali has hardly directed me in this film. We have a different sort of connection; we don't need to speak much. He looks at me, I look at him and it is understood. He rarely had to talk me through anything in this film.

But isn't he extremely demanding as a director? You broke down while filming a scene.

I haven't met anyone who is so consumed and intoxicated by cinema as Bhansali. He has a beautiful mind, he is poetic, sensual, sexy and borderline raunchy - all in a magical way. He admits that he has no life beyond movies. His only other life is his mom, sister, dog and all of two friends. For him, there is no chalta hai attitude, or upar se kar lo option. I cried while shooting the Kathak dance sequence, because I was pushed to the corner and I didn't know how to crack it. As an actor he makes me feel fearless.

Ranveer prepped for the role without an iota of distraction, while you were juggling between other films. Are you a turn-on, turn-off kind of actress?

For me, the process is more internal than external. I didn't put myself through the process of shutting off, maybe it would have been ideal, but I was tempted by other films I was doing simultaneously. I guess women are better at multitasking. Also with Bhansali, you can rehearse as much, but it is pointless. God forbid, if you end up doing what you rehearsed the previous day, he will sit behind the camera eating chana and look bored. He will wait for you to blow his mind away. It doesn't matter how we do it, we have to figure it out and show it to him.

It was interesting to see Ranbir and Ranveer promote each other's films, however subtly. The industry isn't as aggressively competitive, as we believe it is?

I have always said this - actors are not as competitive as it appears, it is just the way it is projected and interpreted. Even all the negativity that reportedly exists between actors is often exaggerated.

Have you faced negativity?

Yes, I have. I don't encourage it and don't let it figure into my scheme of things.

Are you competitive?

Of course, I am competitive, but not in a rivalry sort of way. I want my last film to compete with my next. I watch other actors' works, but I don't follow them. I don't know who is doing which film and whose release is coming up next.

Is it because you are in a good, secure space now - all the way at the top?

Honestly, I don't know where I am and I don't allow myself to be aware of it. Everyone around me tries to make me aware and conscious of it. I know when I say this people often think I am being fake or politically correct or too poised. The fact is that my goals, dreams and ambition is beyond all this. Even Ranveer wonders how I can be so Zen-like all the time. I don't know any other way to be.

While shooting the 'Pinga' song, where Priyanka and you share screen space, didn't you even for a moment want to outdo her?

Our screen characters had to be a certain way, but I never felt that we had to carry that energy off set. In fact, Sanjay sir was troubled by the fact that Priyanka and I didn't have a showdown or a catfight. He wished we didn't get along and he would actually sulk because we were bonding between shots. In his animated style he would tell us, 'It feels like you girls are doing fugdi before coming out of the van. This is not what I want!' We told him we will create it for him when the camera rolls, but too bad we didn't feel that way in reality.

Your chemistry with Ranbir and Ranveer seems to be the talking point of your movies and promotions. Does it irk you?

People thought Irrfan and I shared great chemistry in Piku, but no one asked awkward questions then. They didn't ask him who I made a hotter pair with. In the case of Ranveer and Ranbir, they are always posed with the similar question - who looks hotter with me?! It feels awkward. There is no need to compare, and one does not have to be better than the other. Besides, it is not that complicated. If, at some point, I reverse the kind of films I do with both of them (like a sweet romance with Ranveer and a sensual, passionate film with Ranbir) - then probably a comparison makes sense.

Are you a romantic at heart?

Absolutely! I am extremely romantic. I like the typical candle-light dinners, flowers and all that attention, but that's a small part of it. If all that comes because of the man's personality, it is good. But if it is not genuine and he is doing it to just impress me, I will know it right away. In love, once you cut all the bulls**t, the real thing starts and that is the difficult part.

Would you ever let your career take a back seat for love and marriage?

For me, giving up my career is not an option for family life. I want both and I will have both. I have always wondered why women have to choose between family and career. Men are never asked to give up one for the other.

Ranveer says he feels a divine connection with you. What do you feel?

He is my best friend (and this is not to be taken lightly). I am emotional, sensitive and vulnerable and I hurt easily. I can be so naked in front of Ranveer... and I know he will never hurt me or take me for granted. That is the kind of trust and understanding we have. The reason I love and respect him is that I can bare my soul and still feel comfortable. If this is divine connection - this is what it is!

It seems your first Hollywood film is on the verge of taking off? The picture of you with XXX star Vin Diesel set off an alarm in Bollywood.

(Flashes a big smile, with a hint of undeniable pride) The world will know, soon!

Source - TOI
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