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Deepika: I have no animosity with Kareena

Last updated on: January 24, 2013 19:14 IST

Deepika: I have no animosity with Kareena

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Patcy N in Mumbai

Deepika Padukone ditched her bold outfits for a dazzling white sari on the sets of Nach Baliye, and looked like a million bucks, when she danced with contestant Rahul Mahajan and posed for pictures with one of the judges on the show, Shilpa Shetty.

Dips will be seen next in this week's release Race 2, where she co-stars with Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Ameesha Patel. The film has been directed by Abbas-Mustan.

She spoke to Patcy N about her stylish new film, and also about her other films -- Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chennai Express and Ranvir Singh-starrer Ram Leela.

Tell us about Race 2.

Race 2 is similar to Race and is true to the Abbas-Mustan style of filmmaking, which is an action thriller with lots of twists and turns. So, right up to the end, you never know what to expect.

All the characters in the film have grey shades. Everybody in the film has an agenda and wants to benefit from the other.

The film has lots of action though I don't have any action scenes.

This is the first time I will be doing such a role, slightly grey and seductive. I misuse my beauty and intelligence. My character tries to get what she wants. I personally don't identify with the character because I think I am not that type of girl. It is not a completely negative role though.


Image: Deepika Padukone with Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham on the poster of Race 2


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'As an actor, I should do every type of role'

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This is your fourth film with Saif Ali Khan.

The chemistry that you see between the two of us in Race 2 will be different because our characters are very different. Love Aaj Kal and Cocktail were typical urban rom-coms but this is different.

Weren't you apprehensive doing such a role?

I feel that as an actor I should do every type of role. If I do the grey type of character convincingly, then the audience will accept it.

There is a fine line and you have to be careful doing such roles, but at the same time, I hope the audience likes the fact that I am trying to do something different.


Image: Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan


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'The biggest difficulty for me was to move away from my parents'

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There must have been twists and turns in your life. Can you share some?

I think everybody has difficulties and challenges in their own life. You can't compare two people: what may be difficult for me will be simple for someone else.

For me, the biggest difficulty was to move away from my parents and my home and come and settle in Mumbai and start a career here at a very young age.

A new career in an entirely new environment was a big challenge for me.

Abbas-Mustan's last film, Players, was not a hit at the box-office. Do you think that will affect this film?

I think the audience is very forgiving. The audience only looks forward to what is on in the theatres next Friday; they are always looking for a good film.


Image: Deepika Padukone


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'All the reports in the media about me not doing Race 2 were slightly exaggerated'

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In between there were rumours that you were not in this film.

All the reports in the media about me not doing Race 2 were slightly exaggerated. I never said I was not doing the film.

When you are in a multi-starrer, there are many dates that have to be coordinated and there was already a delay in the schedule, so automically, everybody's dates had to be shifted. So, there was a problem with the scheduling part of it. But I am glad it happened.

Were you confused initially who is Abbas and who is Mustan?

They have another brother Hussain too. Initially, yes it was confusing, but everybody knows it now.

I am always asked who directs the movie between the two of them or gives the instructions but for me, they are one person because they are identical. They stand and sit together, they complete each other's sentences, they agree and disagree on the same thing, they think alike, they have one mobile number, they eat together, and so they are not two different people for me.


Image: Hussain, Mustan, Deepika Padukone, Abbas

Tags: Mustan , Hussain

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'I got lucky with Cocktail'

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Your work in Cocktail was appreciated very much. Have things changed since then?

I don't think there is any change, but people's perception of me has changed. Today, I am perceived differently as I have been nominated for so many awards and the kind of reviews I got for the film shows that the perception has changed.

I did that film as I have done any other film. I got lucky with Cocktail. It was an author-backed role and am thankful that I got a director like Homi (Adajania) and the entire set up that helped me give that kind of performance.

Was your father -- ace badminton player Prakash Padukone -- happy with your performance in Cocktail?

My father loves everything I do. My mother gives practical and honest opinions and feedback.

My father always says nice things to me and is always giving me advice. The first time my family watched the movie was at the Delhi premiere and all of them were crying.

One afternoon my father went to watch the film again, alone, in a Bangalore theatre. A couple of months back he came to Mumbai to meet me. He gave me one of the trophies he had won years ago, at the start of his career.


Image: Deepika Padukone


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'Ram Leela and Chennai Express are very taxing films'

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You are trying out something different in every film...

I believe that 2013 is a very interesting year for me. Not consciously but organically I have signed different films and now I have realised that I am playing different types of characters.

Like Veronica in Cocktail was different, now there is Race 2. Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani is my next film where I play a simple girl, almost like a school girl.

In Chennai Express I play the Tamilian girl. So I have to change my accent and body language. In Ram Leela I am playing a Gujarati girl.

You are doing many different things; what is most challenging?

All roles are challenging. But I think Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani is the simplest. Like Love Aaj Kal, I identify with this character too, not in the first half of the film, but especially in the second half.

Ram Leela and Chennai Express are very taxing. I play completely diverse characters -- one is a Gujarati girl and the other is a Tamilian girl and I am shooting both simultaneously.


Image: Deepika Padukone
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'I don't speak Tamil but I am familiar with the language'

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Do you know Tamil?

I don't speak Tamil but I am familiar with the language as there were many Tamil speaking people in Bangalore. We have a Tamil language tutor who was on the sets all the time to help us out.

Is there action in Chennai Express?

So far I have not shot any, but since it is a Rohit Shetty film, eventually there will be lots of action and cars flying!

Action may not necessarily mean fighting dishoom-dishoom. But there will be a different kind of action, though it is a romantic comedy.


Image: Deepika Padukone and Shilpa Shetty on the sets of Nach Baliye


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'Sanjay Leela Bhansali is obsessed with filmmaking'

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How was it working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Ram Leela. Is he an eccentric?

I never expected to work with Bhansali sir so early in my career. Somewhere it fell into my lap.

It has always been every actress's dream to work with him. We all know the way he presents his heroine and the type of performances they give in his movies is something very unique.

Do you agree he is eccentric?

For him, his films and his mother are his life. These are the two things that he lives for. He is very close to Ram Leela. I share his mother's name in the film so there is a different kind of love that he has towards me and the character.

Yes, he is obsessed with filmmaking in general. He always says, 'I live for cinema.' I think it is this madness that one experiences. Every director has his own style of film making and so does he. His films will be known for a lifetime.


Image: Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan


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'If Ranbir and I were awkward and uncomfortable, we would have not worked together'

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Did you feel awkward working with Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hain Deewani?

Not at all. If we were awkward and uncomfortable we would have not worked together. The director Ayaan (Mukherjee) knows us well and he is our good friend. If he thought we would feel awkward he wouldn't have cast us. It takes two mature people to be able to do that.

Kareena Kapoor was to do Ram Leela earlier. Will the animosity between the two of you increase since you have replaced her?

Some films are just in your destiny and ultimately people will only remember actors who have acted in the film and not who was going to act earlier.

Ranveer and I are in the film and people will remember us

There is no animosity between Kareena and me. People say that because I work a lot with Saif. But, sorry to burst your bubble, there has never been any sort of rivalry with her.

I don't meet her very often, but when I meet her, it is cordial.


Image: Deepika Padukone and John Abraham


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'I would like to work with Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan'

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Do you think there was a lot of competition at all the awards functions this year?

That is really great. I am happy that I was nominated with Vidya (Balan) and Sridevi and people liked my work. That is a big thing for me.

Do you think you need backing in this industry?

I don't think you need any kind of backing in the industry. I think what you achieve in your life is the result of your own talent and hard work.

I have been lucky and fortunate to work with good people, starting with SRK and Farah Khan who gave me an amazing launch, and all the directors that I have worked with. They have always had faith in me and my craft.

My strength and backing are my parents who have always supported me.

Two actors and a director you want to work with?

Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

Among the directors, there are many: Karan Johar and Rajkumar Hirani, and I would like to repeat films with Homi Adajania and Imtiaz Ali.


Image: Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan


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