If any Bollywood star can claim 2013 as his or her year, it is Deepika Padukone. With four hit films, the former model has risen to the top of the A-list – and now has Hollywood in her sights.
But she isn’t putting her fame down to luck.
“I did work at an abnormal pace, juggling three films at a time, and I think the payback has been worth it,” said the 27-year-old.
Padukone’s entry into films was hardly conventional. Born in Copenhagen, she grew up in Bangalore. She was a state-level basketball, badminton and baseball player before becoming a model, and her visibility in that job landed her film offers at age 19.
Padukone agreed 2013 has been career-defining, with hits Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and Chennai Express, which became the most profitable movie in India.
There were even reports of her being considered for a role in Fast & Furious 7.
“I know how close I was to doing that film, but I choose to stand by my earlier commitments here,” she said. “Fast & Furious didn’t work out, for whatever reasons. But it’s ridiculous for people to say that the stories were floated for publicity. Sometimes I think it’s destiny.”
But she suggests Hollywood projects remain a real possibility.
“I am sure there will be something else.”
Padukone’s next films include Finding Fanny, an English-Konkani language satire, and Kochadaiiyaan, a Tamil period film with the south Indian superstar Rajnikanth.