By RAHUL RAUT

Deepika Padukone who is getting rave reviews for her look in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming magnum opus ‘Padmavati’ recently attended the book launch of Hema Malini’s biography – ‘Beyond The Dream Girl’, written by Ram Kamal Mukherjee. She seemed privileged to launch the biography of Hema who has been an inspiration her whole life. At the launch event, Deepika talked about how it feels to be at the No.1 place, what sacrifices did she make to attain that position, how she deals with rejection and much more.

On Getting Rejection:-

Deepika Padukone

Of course, it’s very very hard. People see the glamour, they see the success, they see all the good things that are coming to our life. But, there is a reason why all of that happen. There is a lot of hard work behind all that. And it is not just hard work but the sacrifices on a personal level as well.

I believe, at the end of the day, it’s in the eyes and you need to lead a very disciplined life for that to translate onscreen on the different characters that you play. So it’s a lot of sacrifices. For me, my biggest sacrifice has been to live away from my family and to start my own life over here. Yeah, it looks extremely glamorous from outside and of course, there are advantages, of course, there are perks. But with that comes extremely dedication, discipline and a lot of hard work.

Of course, when you get written off it’s very difficult. I think it really depends on each individual what they make of that opportunity or what they make of that obstacle that they might have faced. Maybe in both our cases, we took that as turn-it-into something positive, to learn from the negativity. I was written off as well at one point. How do you work on your weakness, how do you enhance your strengths and how do you come out better than ever before and stronger than ever before.

On being the No.1 actress:-

Deepika Padukone

To be very honest, I don’t think it’s something I’ve given too much thought. It is something that you are given versus what you want or expect from yourself. The intention really is to do good work, we all are so passionate about our work. Its constant endeavour is to work with extremely challenging directors, films, roles to grow, to learn, and maybe somewhere along the way success happens.

I think it’s a very unique and interesting place to be. There are sacrifices needed to get to this place. You’ve to be extremely dedicated to it. For example, I haven’t gone to college. I finished my 11th and 12th, even my 11th and 12th I just about managed to finish because I was already a very successful model by that time. I was based in Bangalore but I used to travel to Mumbai and Delhi for work and I couldn’t keep up the study. After my 11th and 12th, I tried to do one year of my degree through college but I couldn’t do that. I tried to do distance education, I couldn’t complete that as well. So, I am just a 12th pass.

My parents back then had big issues with it because they always wanted me to only start working after I had got a basic degree which is I think very conservative Indian way of looking at you. But somewhere along the way, I found they realized how passionate I was about what I wanted to do, and something changed and they were like “no, she seems extremely focused”, and then overnight I had wings to fly.

I don’t think I would be able to achieve what I’ve today if I didn’t have their support to go home every night and to know that my parents believe in my vision, to know that they are absolutely okay with everything that I do. Somewhere I am sure it also got to do with the fact that the way they brought me up, maybe they felt confident that I would not let their belief down.

While some relationships have become stronger over the period of time, I do see a lot of my friends who also distance themselves. Some of my school friends became much closer than before because we all make the effort to sort of stay in touch and stay connected. But a lot of people could not handle the success that came to my way and sort of disconnected. I am not upset about it, that’s just the way life goes. People who are closest to you eventually understand.

And yes, as far as romantic relationships are concerned, they are complicated. Because it’s difficult to find someone who understands your success, who understands your passion for what you do, who understands the fact that maybe you earn more money than them. So, it’s a very complicated place to be.

And of course about ‘Padmavati’:-

I feel extremely fortunate to have worked repeatedly with someone like Sanjay Leela Bhansali in over five years and three consecutive films back-to-back in extremely challenging but extremely empowering and powerful roles that he is known to give women. I won’t say much about the film but I think it has been an extremely exhausting experience.