x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Deepika Padukone rises to top spot

The Bollywood actress says 2013 has been career-defining – and that she now has Hollywood in her sights.

Deepika Padukone has had four hits in 2013. AFP Photo / STR / Files
Deepika Padukone has had four hits in 2013. AFP Photo / STR / Files

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.