MAMI 2019: Deepika Padukone opens up on her memorable role

Updated: Oct 14, 2019, 13:55 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Deepika Padukone opens up on her memorable roles, Ranbir and Ranveer and the secret of her and Ranveer's lasting relationship and a whole lot more in a candid conversation with Rajeev Masand and Anupama Chopra

The opening session of the Jio MAMI Movie Mela with Star, 2019 began with an engaging conversation between actor Deepika Padukone, the newly appointed Chairperson of MAMI, film critic Rajeev Masand and Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, MAMI. The focus of the chat was five of Deepika's standout roles that the two leading critics love and are career milestones in her twelve-year illustrious career. When asked to count the number of films she has worked on a modest Deepika said, "I have never really worked towards keeping a count on the number of films I have done, but more about connecting with the work I have done. My acting process begins with the narration. While a great narration may not necessarily translate into a great movie, it helps me visualize the story and the character. It helps bring out the honesty of the script."

Deepika Padukone

The conversation then steered towards Deepika's roles. The first character the critics chose was Veronica in her breakthrough film Cocktail. This role was offered to Deepika at a time when she was going through a lean period personally. Speaking about why she chose to play the character of the dynamic and complicated Veronica, Deepika explained, "I reread the script to understand why Imtiaz (Ali) thought that while I was drawn to Meera, I was actually ready for Veronica." She further added that it was Homi's sensibility toward this complex character that empowered her to play it. "After a point I was spontaneous in my takes; Homi had just stopped directing me. Veronica helped Deepika shed her inhibitions both as a woman and as an actor and explore a side of her that she did not know existed."

Deepika Padukone

Next up for discussion was Meenakshi (Meenamma) from Chennai Express, a role in which Deepika channeled her comedic muscle. Speaking about playing the nightmare scene from the film, Deepika said, "My energy was completely off that day. I could see that Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty were not happy with me and they were wondering how to make it work." According to Deepika comedy roles are tricky, especially when there are many actors on different wavelengths. These scenes cannot be rehearsed. The entire crew has to be tuned in to the comic timing. "You can't prepare for scenes like these. It just happens spontaneously. But at the end of the day whatever you do with conviction becomes honest." she said.

Deepika Padukone

In the same year, Deepika portrayed Leela in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela. The critics chose the Panchayat meeting scene, which was Deepika's first ever shot for Mr. Bhansali and also her first film with now husband, Ranveer Singh. She spoke about how stressful and unnerving it can get working with Bhansali sir's impromptu ways of shooting a character and how she gave her best to keep up with him. Given his fetish for changing things till the last moment, Bhansali rewrote the script of the panchayat meeting scene, just as Deepika was getting done with hair and makeup. "While the writers were cajoling me on how I could shoot it in parts. I almost broke down." she reminisced. On working with her husband, Deepika said. "He likes to discuss work and take it home. But not me. I like to be in a different head space on the set and at home."

Deepika Padukone

Speaking on her experience of working for the runaway hit, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Deepika commented director Ayan Mukerji's working methods. "Ayan likes to have discipline on the sets," she said. "The scene should be fun on screen but the actors off screen shouldn't be fooling around." Playing the on-screen journey of Naina, who goes from being a reserved, bespectacled girl to a stylish, fun-loving one, was something that Deepika enjoyed. "I had a lot of fun playing Naina. I saw a lot of her in me, and lot of me in her. Naina's evolution is, in some ways, like my own; so, portraying her transformation wasn't all that hard."

When asked about the how two of her co-stars – Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh – differ in their methods of working, Deepika was quick to respond. "Ranbir doesn't really have a process; he is very spontaneous. I have never really seen him 'prepare' for his role as such. He's like me in that respect. Our approach is 50% rehearsed and 50% spontaneous. Ranveer, on the other hand, really gets into the process. He changes everything for the role – right from the car he drives, to the clothes and the perfume he wears. He's a different person every six months, which is probably one of the reasons why our relationship has lasted so long; I never get bored." she joked, leaving the audience in splits.

The conversation then moved to one of her most loved and acclaimed roles in Piku – a movie that holds a special place in Deepika's heart. "Given the chance, I would do the movie all over again," she said fondly. "I miss Piku, I miss the experience of making the movie. We were all in a really good place when we were making the movie. I had gotten out of depression and things were looking up. We had sets that were fully functional – the house, for instance. Shoojit (the director) told us to go about our parts as if we were really living in the house, and the camera would follow us. In that sense, we really "lived" the film, and those moments were beautifully put together and presented to the audience."

Speaking about her upcoming movie Chhapaak, in which she plays an acid attack survivor, Deepika said that the character stayed with her for quite a while even after the film was completed. It's something, she said, that all actors experience. "The characters you play don't just go away at the snap of the finger. They linger in your mind; they get pushed to the back as you start playing a new character; but they never entirely go away. Chhapaak was also a very physically draining movie; it would take at least three hours to put on the make-up every day and an hour to take it off. Even emotionally, it's one of my most challenging roles yet and I'm looking forward to bringing it to audiences," she signed off.

The session ended with a brief Q&A session and a group selfie of Deepika and the hosts with the audience.

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  • 1/16

    Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone solemnized their six-year-old relationship by walking down the aisle on November 14, 2018, in Italy's exotic location - Lake Como. Their wedding was a four-day revelry with extra-tight security at the venue and some interesting events like no gifts-instead donate to charity, wedding insurance, and no mobile phone policy. The reason why we didn't see social media bombarded with clips and pictures from their wedding ceremonies. (All photos: mid-day archives and Deepika and Ranveer's official Instagram account)

  • 2/16

    While reports had earlier suggested that Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone tied the knot at Villa del Balbianello, it later came to light that the venue of the band, baaja, baaraat was, in fact, the Casta Diva Resort and Spa that is located on the east side of Lake Como in Blevio village.

  • 3/16

    A source close to Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone had earlier revealed interesting tidbits about the engagement ceremony. "The evening had two functions lined up — an engagement ceremony and a sit-down dinner. Deepika and Ranveer welcomed the guests personally at the entrance of the Casta Diva, which was all lit up. Both flaunted western outfits – while Deepika wore a white dress, Ranveer sported a black creation. They exchanged rings in the presence of about 45 people, including their families and entourage. The ceremony was followed by a formal dinner where the couple thanked everyone for being part of their special occasion. The guests were categorically requested not to share any pictures from the function," asserted the source.

  • 4/16

    A grand reception took places after Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone returned to the bay on November 28 at Grand Hyatt hotel, which saw a sky of stars shining on the red carpet. Prior to this, they hosted a reception party at Deepika's hometown in Bengaluru on November 21.

  • 5/16

    Keen that the auspicious occasion, that is Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone's wedding serve a higher cause, the duo requested guests to not give them any gifts. Instead, they offered them the opportunity to make donations to Padukone's non-profit organisation — The Live Love Laugh Foundation — that spreads awareness about mental health.

  • 6/16

    A source close to the soon-to-be-married couple had told mid-day the reason why they chose Lake Como as their wedding destination. "Since they are both from non-filmy families, they wanted a quiet wedding away from the prying eyes of the world. The Mumbai and Bengaluru receptions though will be a snazzy affair. Also, they've requested that donations be made to Deepika's foundation that actively works towards creating awareness and removing the stigma around depression. Both Ranveer and Deepika are deeply committed to the cause and want to involve all their guests in the good deed," revealed the source.

  • 7/16

    With a day before Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone's big, fat wedding, social media pages were flooded with fans sharing pictures of the venue. The source added that the villa was closed for the public starting from Monday, November 13. The families were staying at a hotel 10 minutes from the venue because the venue itself didn't have a boarding facility. 

  • 8/16

    Before tying the knot, when asked about the status of his relationship with Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh had once said that he shares a relationship of mutual admiration with her, and is "blessed" to have her in his life. "It is a relationship of mutual admiration... I rate her very highly as an actor, and she doesn't," said the Bajirao Mastani actor.

  • 9/16

    Ranveer Singh had also quipped, "She says, 'You're just a ham'," adding that she is "awesome" and that "there's a lot to learn from her as an artiste". He acknowledged that his Bajirao Mastani, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and Padmaavat co-star has helped him become a "well-rounded human being" and that he is "blessed" to have her in his life.

  • 10/16

    The buzz of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married began after they rang in the New Years, 2018, with their respective parents in the Maldives, and the presence of their peers blew a spark of their engagement there. What added fuel to fire was Ranveer Singh's maternal grandmother's wish of meeting the dimpled-beauty. In January 2018, a report claimed that Ranveer drove with Deepika to his late grandma's residence in Bandra. The report further suggested that post spending some quality time there, Ranveer and Deepika headed to the former's residence to spend some time alone. Back then, their meeting had strongly indicated marriage being on cards!

  • 11/16

    In one of the talk-shows hosted by Neha Dhupia, BFFs with Vogue, Dhupia had interrogated Deepika Padukone about her engagement in the Maldives and the actress denied. "I was not engaged," she said. Prodding further Neha asked her to show her ring finger to check if there was a tan on it. And the tan was indeed evident! Further indicating that she was sporting a ring during her vacation in the Maldives, where they were rumoured to exchange rings. Deepika was with her sister Anisha Padukone on the show and the latter in jest said, "She has been engaged successively for the last four years."

  • 12/16

    In 2017, in a media interaction when the dimpled-beauty was asked about her engagement with beau, she had said, "There's no such plan ANYTIME soon. I'm not pregnant, I'm not having a baby, I'm not engaged and I'm not married. And I'm not even planning to get married anytime soon."

  • 13/16

    In November 2017, a clip went viral where Deepika Padukone as the first guest on Shah Rukh Khan's talk show, 'Baatein with Baadshah' was seen watching Ranveer's message for her. Dressed in a shiny silver jacket and blue shades, Ranveer was seen dancing hilariously on the Kumar Sanu hit song 'Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga' from the film 1942 - A Love Story, picturised on Manisha Koirala and Anil Kapoor. Ranveer ended the message saying, "Mandir mein ho ek jalta diya, Diya, yaani ke Deepika, yaani ke aap. Aapke baare mein kya kahun? Jis tareeke se aap, apne karoron chahne waalon ke dilon me ujaala ban ke aayi, meri zindagi mein ujala ban ke aayi. Mai upar wale se yahi dua karunga ki aapki bhi zindagi me ujala barkaraar rahe, humesha humesha ke liye. There's nobody like you! God bless you and love you a lot."

  • 14/16

    Ranveer Singh had even confessed that Deepika Padukone is a 'really good kisser'. Ranveer, who was a guest on Neha Dhupia's podcast, made a candid confession that he considers Deepika a fab kisser. He said, "I think Deepika is the best kisser. Have you seen that song, Ang Laga De from Ram Leela?" Their smouldering chemistry on screen was indeed unmissable in Ram-Leela.

  • 15/16

    Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, are one of tinsel town's hottest couples. Ranveer apparently calls Deepika 'Booboo', while Dippy calls him 'Clown'. Those are some romantic nicknames, aren't they?

  • 16/16

    Bollywood's Bajirao and Mastani have been inseparable ever since Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Goliyon Ki Raasleela: RamLeela. Their chemistry spit fire on screen, thus making them the ideal couple. In between, there were rumours of their relationship hitting a rough patch. However, their public display of affection managed to quash those rumours. And they are a married couple now!

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