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Deepika: Rajinikanth is like a child in a candy shop

April 11, 2014 13:06 IST

Deepika: Rajinikanth is like a child in a candy shop

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Sonil Dedhia/Rediff.com in Mumbai

'Fashion, for me, is what I believe in, and what suits my personality and body type. Not what people in the fashion world dictate I should wear.'

Deepika Padukone turns fashion designer. 

Fashionista Sonam Kapoor may have stated that Deepika Padukone 'doesn't have style' on Koffee With Karan but she's obviously got it wrong.

As if to prove that, Dips recently turned fashion designer and launched the Limited Edition Spring-Summer 14 collection in association with Van Heusen.

Deepika discusses her fashion influences, her hugely-awaited film with Superstar Rajinikanth called Kochadaiiyaan and much more, in this interview with Sonil Dedhia.

You are having a successful run at the box office. What made you decide to turn into a fashion designer?

I modelled for more than two years and worked with designers who specialised in different wear. A lot of international brands were coming to India so I got exposure to that as well.

Working as a model and an actor, I started developing my own sense of style.

Can you tell us about you Spring-Summer 14 collection?

From summery sheath dresses with gorgeously scooped backs to fitted texture-on-texture dresses to embellished tops that go well at champagne lunches, summer parties and social dos, the idea has been to create something luxurious for every place a woman can expect to find herself this summer.

Please click Next to see more.


Image: Deepika Padukone
Photographs: Deepika Padukone/Facebook

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'Fashion, for me, is what I believe in and what suits my personality and body type'

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From modelling to acting and now being a designer… is this a natural progression?

Yes, it was a natural progression for me.

As model and now as actor, I am constantly in touch with costumes, designers, new trends in fashion.

So when Van Heusen came up with the proposal, I found it interesting. It felt like familiar territory, and at the same time I was doing something different.

Most of the time I am always styled by someone, but now I have reached a stage where I am aware what my style is and what I am comfortable with.

Whenever I go shopping and see a dress, I wish it had a little something extra -- a trim or a bow that could take it just a notch higher.

Every piece you see in the collection is designed by me, with the sole intention of making a woman feel special.

What is your personal sense of styling?

I like something that is classic and simple. I don’t like accessorising too much.

I prefer that the focus is on one thing. For example, if the emphasis is on the dress, everything else should be minimal.

Fashion, for me, is what I believe in and what suits my personality and body type. Not what people in the fashion world dictate I should wear.


Image: Deepika Padukone
Photographs: Deepika Padukone/Facebook

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'Rekhaji is a definition of a true style icon'

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Who has been your style icon?

In my growing up years, my mother was my style icon and she still is.

My mother’s style has rubbed off on me.

Today when I say that my style is classic and simple yet elegant, it all comes from the way she dresses.

Are there any actresses whose style you admire?

Rekhaji is a true style icon; she has her own identity. Nothing has influenced her style.

Whether it’s her movies or in her daily life she seems like someone who is sure about herself and her style and knows how she wants to project it to the world.


Image: Deepika Padukone and Rekha
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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'I may not be able to do street shopping in India but when I am traveling abroad, I do'

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Do you prefer high end brands or are you are comfortable with street wear?

I am not particular about brands. I have to comfortable in what I wear and like to wear something that suits me.

Do you shop from the streets?

I may not be able to do street shopping in India but when I am traveling abroad, I do.

Anyway when I am in India, I hardly get time to shop.

Most of the times when I am on the go and shooting somewhere and I get half a day off, my entire team runs to a mall to shop quickly before the flight (laughs).


Image: Deepika Padukone

Tags: India

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'I have a weakness for shoes'

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What is that one thing in your wardrobe that you love to splurge on?

(Thinks hard) I have a weakness for shoes.

The problem is that I have big feet, so something that I can’t easily get is something that I want the most. Often, I like a pair of shoes and they don’t have my size.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I haven’t really kept a count but I have a cupboard full.


Image: Deepika Padukone

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'It wasn't easy to work on Kochadiiyaan'

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You were missing from the trailer launch of your next film Kochadiiyaan. There are reports that you are not participating in promoting the film.

The trailer launch in Mumbai was a last minute plan. There weren’t any plans to hold an event here.

(Director) Soundarya messaged me that same evening to join them. For the last two weeks, I have been shooting for Happy New Year and we are having night shoots so unfortunately, I couldn’t make it.

I did speak to Rajini sir. As far as the promotion is concerned, I think we need to lock on a release date first before we take anything forward.

Kochadiiyaan is the first performance-capture film in India and Rajinikanth mentioned that it was difficult for him to understand the technology. Was it the same with you?

It wasn’t easy to work on Kochadiiyaan. In fact, when I look back, I can’t think how I did it.

Luckily, Soundarya has so much knowledge about the technology and that kind of filmmaking.

The biggest difference is that when we normally shoot films, it’s very organic. You feel what you perform. With Kochadiiyaan, there were a lot of technical things.

We had a camera that was right in my face. I am not in costume. I am playing a princess but while I am shooting, I am just wearing track pants and a T-shirt.

When you play a particular character, the costume largely helps you to be that person.

We have no sets and no co-stars, so it’s a very bland process. At the same time, it pushed me to use my imagination.

For example, if I had to climb a staircase, I had to imagine it as it is not physically present. If I had to hold something or touch something, I had to imagine what it would be like.


Image: Deepika Padukone


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'Rajini sir's enthusiasm towards his work hasn't changed at all'

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Can you share your experience of working with Rajinikanth?

We were shooting without co-stars, so I couldn’t spend a lot of time with him.

We actually got a day and a half together. I had to do only three days of work.

What I really take back from my interaction with Rajini sir is his simplicity and his humbleness. This is something we can all learn.

He is like a child in a candy shop. I have never seen an actor more excited than him on the sets.

He comes on the sets with full energy; he greets everyone and he treats his daughter like a director. Even though the director has okayed the shot, he wants to keep perfecting it.

It’s amazing that after working for so many years, his enthusiasm hasn’t changed.

I’ve always admired him as a person and for his achievements. He and Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) are two actors, who are so excited you can see the passion in their eyes.


Image: Deepika Padukone


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'If there are two mega projects happening at the same time, it is difficult to accommodate both'

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Is it true that you have been signed for both Bajirao Mastani and Shuddhi?

We are still working out the logistics. There are a couple of films that are in the pipeline but nothing has been finalised.

Would it be possible for you to accommodate both the films?

If there are two mega projects happening at the same time, it is difficult to accommodate both. I will let you know which film I will do.

The only film that I can talk about is Imtiaz Ali’s next with Ranbir Kapoor. We start shooting for it in July.


Image: Deepika Padukone


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'Gone are the days when actresses were just treated as a prop'

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After the success of Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela, Ranveer Singh and you have become the most sought after pair in Bollywood.

The chemistry that Ranveer and I shared in the film really clicked. We were lucky to be part of a strong love story that had such strong characters.

The director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) understands his films and is passionate about what he makes.

I really hope that whatever film Ranveer and I do next is as good as or even better than Ram Leela.

Women oriented films like Highway and Queen have done wonders at the box office.

I think it’s a great time in Bollywood. Gone are the days when actresses were just treated as a prop.

There are some really interesting scripts and films being made with actresses playing some strong roles.


Image: Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela


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'My father keeps saying that I still have a long way to go'

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How do your parents look at your success?

My parents are really happy and proud of my work.

They love all my films. As all the characters were so distinct from each other, they can’t really choose (which they like the best).

My mother will say that Ram Leela was really good and my father will say that even Chennai Express was really good (laughs).

My father keeps saying that I still have a long way to go.

Your father also mentioned that an area where you need to improve is your anger and tolerance. Do you agree with him?

Yes, I think so. If my father says that, I have to listen to him (laughs).


Image: Deepika Padukone with father Prakash, sister Anisha and mother Ujjwala Padukone
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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