May 2, 2015: Deepika Padukone, whose Bollywood career has been going great guns in the past few years, says that she is excited by the prospect of taking on international films. Ask her about narrowly missing out on a role in the recently released Furious 7, and she jokingly beats the table with her fist, saying, “…and it goes on to become the biggest Hollywood hit in the country.” The actor also talks about why she won’t produce films, her equation with her parents, and more.
=> Do you aspire to do international cinema?
Yes, it does excite me, though I have never given it a serious though. It is fascinating to set foot in a world that is sodifferent. The films they make are different; I’m sure the work culture is different too. It would be like starting all over again; the way I began my Bollywood career in 2007. It would be challenging, but I don’t mind that.
=> Like your contemporaries Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra, do you wish to turn producer too?
People I work with have often told me that I’ll make a good producer. But I am terrible at maths, and don’t know how to run a business. Even if I become a producer, I’d be more interested in doing the backend work on the sets. Even on the sets of Piku, we finished shooting one scene before time, and there was a huge crowd gathered. So I chipped in with the assistant directors’ work so that they could manage the crowd.
=> There were rumours that you kept Priyanka waiting on the sets of your next for over two hours, recently. Is that true?
People wait to get a scoop on who is doing better, who is ignoring the other on a shoot, who came out of their van first, etc., but I’m sorry to disappoint them. One day, while a shot was being prepared, Sanjay (Leela Bhansali; film-maker) sir was wondering why there was so much silence, and asked where the girls had disappeared. Then he spotted the two of us talking and giggling in a corner.
=> Piku is about a father and daughter’s relationship. When it comes to your parents, has there ever been something you hid from them and regretted later?
No; your parents know every breath you take. Even though I stay miles away from them, they know exactly what is happening in my life. Trust, love and respect form the basis of our relationship. I respect the fact that they allowed me to move away from home for such a long time, and that comes from trust.
=> You have been shooting at night for a week now. How are you managing?
My sleep cycle has taken a complete turn; everyone is up and about while I’m sleeping. Also, during night shoots, time just flies. While you’re working, it is already the next day, and by the time you wake up, the day is over. But things will be fine in a few more days.
=> What kind of a relationship do you share with your parents? Is it similar to the bond you and Amitabh Bachchan share in your next?
With parents, it’s important to be friends, but not to a point where you can take them for granted. For me, it’s important to have a sense of fear, and a line I can’t cross. I have a similar relationship with my mom and dad. But you should never be so scared of your parents that you start hiding things from them.
=> In the trailer of your next, you can be seen screaming at Mr Bachchan. Have you ever raised your voice at your father?
I don’t think I have that kind of equation with him. But in any case, my father is very disciplined, unlike Amitji’s character who is stubborn, childlike and wants his daughter’s attention all the time.
Jigar Shah, Hindustan Times*