1) She followed her dreams.
Prior to being one of Bollywood’s most popular, desired and beloved actresses, Deepika Padukone had to make a number of tough calls. Before focusing on a career as a fashion model, Padukone was en route to following her father’s footsteps by playing badminton competitively. She played in the national level championships as well as state level tournaments.
Though talented at the sport, Padukone knew early on that her heart lay elsewhere. She was a child model by the age of 8, and in 2004, despite fear of her father’s disapproval, she began focusing on modeling full-time. Thankfully, her father wasn’t upset by her decision and a year later in 2005, she won the “Model of the Year” award at the Kingfisher Fashion Awards. It was only a matter of time before the acting world called out to her.
2) She stays true to herself.
In many interviews, Padukone admits that she is socially awkward. And not cute Jennifer Lawrence awkward. She says her social awkwardness and social anxiety led to her having very few friends as a child. Normally, a popular actress would deny that part of their personality, but not Padukone.
Despite the fame, Padukone has no problem admitting that it takes her a lot of time to open up to people. Unlike many of her co-stars who own the room when they walk in, Padukone knows and accepts her shy personality. She seems to have no plans of changing it.
3) She’s fearless.
When fans aren’t discussing Padukone’s career, they’re probably talking about only one other thing: her love life. This interest in her personal life is probably due to the fact that she is known to be rather open about it, especially about her ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor. She often comes across as candid and not afraid to express her emotions.
In a 2013 interview, reporter Rajeev Masand asked if she had learned her lesson about publicly discussing her relationships. Padukone quickly bit back by pointing out that she was one of the first to open up and be honest about relationships. She clearly isn’t afraid to show her fans what’s truly happening in her life.
4) There’s more to her than meets the eye.
Padukone’s list of talents seem endless. In addition to her acting and modeling career, she has written for health and fitness magazines and is a columnist for Hindustan Times. She takes part in marathons, such as the World 10K Bangalore marathon, which often raises funds for a charitable organizations, and she even began her own clothing line in 2013.
5) She rolls with the punches.
A few years ago, Padukone’s career took a nosedive. She starred in a number of films, such as Bachna Ae Haseeno and Housefull, that received negative reviews.
Did she let this phase her? Absolutely not. She was confident in every role that she took on. In a 2012 interview, she said, “The films and the kind of roles I play, I’ve always believed in them. I’ve never really gone after what people expected me to do or what the industry expects me to do.” She continued to follow her gut and soon, her career took a turn.
In 2012, Padukone starred in the romantic comedy Cocktail, which was a major box office success and gave her a number of best actress nominations. She followed this up by acting in four of the top-grossing productions of 2013 and some of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all time. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress and is currently one of the highest paid and most popular actresses in Bollywood.
BONUS: She’s beautiful!
She’s known as one of the most attractive celebrities in India. In 2008, she ranked first in Maxim India’s “Hot 100″ list and was named “India’s Most Beautiful Woman” in India’s People magazine. In 2012-2014, Padukone was ranked on The Times of India’s list of “Most Desirable Woman” and she was named the “World’s Sexiest Woman” in 2010 and 2014 by India’s FHM.
The following pictures prove it.
Want to see more of this incredible actress? Check out the trailer to her upcoming film FINDING FANNY.
FINDING FANNY releases in theaters across North America on September 12. Directed by Homi Adajania, the film also stars Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, and Pankaj Kapoor with a special appearance by Ranveer Singh.