Deepika Padukone has had a decade long career in the industry, 11 years to be accurate. Born to ace badminton player Prakash Padukone, she started off as a model but was soon paired opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the 2007 blockbuster Om Shanti Om. On her 32 birthday we take a look at the films that defined her as an actress.
Om Shanti Om (2007)
We can thank Farah Khan for finding a gem from the fashion industry for Om Shanti Om. Despite being a new comer, Padukone won accolades for her double role in the film as a 70’s actress and a millennium girl. Her winged eye-liner look and frolicking song-dance sequences won her the Best Female Debut awards.
Padukone had to go through fifteen releases before she decided to change gears. With Homi Adajania’s Cocktail she did just that. Deepika was a star by then, romancing A listers on the silver screen was working well for her career. But when Homi came to her with Coctail and asked her to choose between the flawed Veronica Malaney and the traditional Indian girl Meera, Padukone chose Veronica. The critics found many faults in the film that was a hit at the box office, but they couldn’t find any in Deepika’s craft.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013)
In 2013 came the Sanjay Leela Bhansali production Ramleela. Created controversy immediately with the Hindu community and was later re-christened Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. This was the first film where Padukone was the bigger star. Ranveer Singh was still finding his feet in the industry then. It was her first 100 crore plus grossing film. Won her first Filmfare Award for Best actress while the box office figures added much needed muscle to her industry standing.
Finding Fanny (2014)
There are no small roles, only small actors. Deepika was seen in a non-glamorous role in this small budget. Playing the role of a young Goan widow, Deepika won hearts as Angelina 'Angie' Eucharistica. Shot entirely in Goa, Finding Fanny showed her fans a new side to Deepika’s acting.
Bajirao Mastani (2015)
Casted for another Bhansali period drama, this film managed to beat her mentor Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale at the box office. A feat of sorts for the star, post Bajirao Mastani, Deepika became the perfect Bollywood heroine for Indian period dramas.
Cast opposite superstar Amitabh Bachchan for the second time, this was yet another road drama by the star that conjured giggles and tears alike. Despite being sandwiched between veterans like Bachchan and Irrfan Khan, Deepika managed to pull off her role as a short-tempered, unmarried established architect, making us believe the star can go beyond song-dance sequences.
XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017)
At a time when Bollywood’s other leading lady, Priyanka Chopra was earning fame in Hollywood, XXX was the ultimate international launch pad for Deepika where she was starred opposite Vin Diesel. The film even became the highest grossing film of the franchise aided by Deepika’s action sequences.
One of the biggest controversial film of Deepika’s career, this period drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali lead to large scale protests against the film’s alleged plot of showing a romantic dream sequence between Rajput queen Padamvati and Alaudin Khilji. The movie is still looking at a release date but has already become one of the most important films for the actress. While the other stars have stayed relatively subdued about the controversy, Deepika has stood up against fringe groups.