‘I NEEDED TO LIVE LIFE A BIT’

Deepika Padukone talks about why she didn’t go on a sign­ing spree despite the mega suc­cess of Pad­maa­vat

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Prashant Singh ■ [email protected]

Surely, it has been one of her most chal­leng­ing parts till date. And Deepika Padukone glee­fully sunk her teeth into the feisty role of queen Pad­ma­vati, in San­jay Leela Bhansali’s Pad­maa­vat (2018). Despite the fact that her per­for­mance as well as the film earned a lot of praise — be­sides box of­fice moolah — she ze­roed in on a new film (Ch­ha­paak that’s based on the life of acid at­tack sur­vivor, Laxmi Agar­wal) only to­wards the end of 2018.

Ask Deepika if such heavy­duty parts take a toll on her, and she says: “Yes, I think that’s why even though there was so much to cel­e­brate post the re­lease of Pad­maa­vat, I think some­where, as a hu­man be­ing, I felt I had to recharge emo­tion­ally (smiles). I needed to live life a bit. And that’s ex­actly what I did last year — so I just sort of re­plen­ished, touched base with nor­mal things and went about things in an or­ganic man­ner.”

But by now, has she — as an ac­tor — de­vel­oped some kind of a for­mula/code that can make her life eas­ier? “Strangely, there is no sci­ence, proven for­mula or set pat­tern to it. With ev­ery new film or char­ac­ter, you dis­cover it and then, things un­fold on their own. I don’t think you can plan such things. You kind of know what you want to do with a char­ac­ter and so, you can prep a lot but un­til one goes on the sets and ac­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence it, you don’t get the hang of it,” she says.

Deepika feels that an ac­tor’s process to de­code his/her char­ac­ter “will al­ways be dif­fer­ent” in ev­ery film. “Surely, you can have a broad idea or [char­ac­ter] sketch of what you think your part is go­ing to be like. Your direc­tor, of course, will also have a say in it. But I think it takes a cou­ple of days for things to sort of find their form. But the method won’t be the same in ev­ery film,” says the ac­tor, adding that to por­tray Pad­ma­vati, she had to find her way through si­lences.

“I had to bring out her steely re­solve and grit with­out say­ing or do­ing much [phys­i­cally] and lead an en­tire side to vic­tory. Of course, that ‘vic­tory’ was in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent sense, which we would not en­dorse or cel­e­brate to­day. But that’s how the cel­e­bra­tion at that time cul­mi­nated. Com­ing back to a part’s in­tri­ca­cies, in Ba­ji­rao Mas­tani (2015), I go to the bat­tle­field with a sword in hand but for Pad­ma­vati, it was like a silent war. If I have a knife or a sword in hand, my emo­tions are eas­ily un­der­stood ver­sus me try­ing

to por­tray it through si­lences,” says Deepika.

And lastly, is it true that she her­self was shocked af­ter go­ing through the look test for Ch­ha­paak. “I won’t use the word shocked but we still have a long way to go,” she says with a smile.

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