Why Deepika Padukone is unaffected by the backlash on her "having Vin's babies in my head"
It’s almost midnight In Los Angeles but Deepika Padukone is happy, chirpy. Still on a high post the release of her first Hollywood film XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage. It’s all still sinking in, says the actress as opens up about the reactions she’s been getting for her film in India and abroad. From the Indian premiere, the reviews and her “having Vin’s babies in my head” comment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show she takes all the questions on her chin, like the sport she is. Read on….
What has the reaction to been to your debut internationally?
It’s been amazing! I have been extremely overwhelmed. People have given me so much warmth and love. I can really feel and appreciate the love, warmth and warm welcome given by everybody to my first Hollywood film. I didn’t know what to expect because it was such a new territory for me in terms of being a new environment and outside my comfort zone. And then to be embraced and welcomed in this way is extremely overwhelming and very exciting!
Are you happy with the response for the film in India? It had a Rs 20 crore weekend, which isn’t a very big number.
In India, it released only in 3D. I got an email from my producer talking about how the numbers are encouraging! When you know it’s a limited release and you get these numbers, it’s wonderful. This weekend it will release in all other formats in India this weekend. Globally the film has released in all formats all at one go but it’s only in India because of piracy that we had the 3D release first and then the other formats this weekend. It has been extremely exciting to see the response to the film and my character in the film. The biggest compliment I have got is from women. That finally women are being included in an action film and you got to see such a strong powerful character in a film, where usually the characters are male-dominated.
The box office collections in USA haven’t been too great. Are you disappointed?
I haven’t gotten into the numbers as we are still recovering from the massive premiere. It has been such a crazy schedule that I think first we will recover from that and tomorrow sit down and get into the box-office figures. Honestly, the love, warmth and appreciation I have got for my role, that’s my real takeaway — it has overshadowed everything else. I loved the way they did the premiere at the Chinese theatre. Few Hollywood films get to see that kind of premiere where they block the streets, roll out the red carpets and so many people gathered at that venue. It reminded me of the classic old-school premieres they used to have in India.
You do know your “having Vin’s baby in my head” comment on Ellen’s show has caused tremors in India. Comment.
I don’t take such talk seriously. I would rather talk about the experience of meeting an amazing and powerful woman like Ellen. For me, that was the exciting part! Meeting Ellen was a very enlightening moment for me rather than anything else.
Everyone expected you to outright deny the link-up like most actresses do. Instead you decided to joke about it. In retrospect, do you regret being flippant?
No regrets. I don’t have anything more to say about that. Fact is, I received tons of messages from people all over saying how much they have enjoyed the show. The morning after, I was flooded with compliments saying what a fun and candid show it was as people felt I was being myself and I sounded like myself.
Why are you promoting Lungi Dance, which is two years old and not Pinga, which is a more traditional form of dance?
If you are talking about The Late Late Show with James Corden, with me and Vin Diesel, it was very spontaneous and James asked me to perform it. I was surprised to know that Vin and James knew about the Lungi Dance! All these shows are very spontaneous and you just have to be honest and the best version of yourself. James asked me on the spot to do the lungi dance and I would have been equally happy if he had asked me to do Deewani Mastani from Bajirao Mastani. The funny part was how Vin thought that the Lungi Dance is actually a form of dance in India. It was hilarious and he what he said was so adorable. In his interviews in India, he told someone that he thought that the Lungi Dance was some kind of breakdance — a form of dance I had done, and something fun I had come up with in one of my earlier films. It was exciting to be on James show and through all these various mediums there is so much exchange of culture.
Your TV appearances are being compared to Priyanka Chopra’s TV appearances. Your thoughts on that?
It’s not fair to make comparisons. Let me just say everyone has a different path and journey.
How have your parents and sister reacted to the whole journey?
They are so proud and thrilled about it and have been so supportive and amazing, which they always have been. I can feel how proud and happy they are with the way I have conducted myself. For me, that’s the most important thing. They have messaged me saying they are appreciate the way I have conducted myself and that makes me very happy!
Your fashion choices from the red carpet to TV shows are attracting wild attention. How involved are you with your choices?
(Laughs) Of course, I always voice what I am comfortable in, feeling like and leaning towards on that day — it is so much about what you are feeling like on that day and what you want to channel and be comfortable in. But I have amazing team too who is doing a fantastic job with my hair and make-up and styling, which is done by a very senior lady, who is also Gwyneth Paltrow’s stylist, Elizabeth Saltzman. They are an amazing team of stylists — hair, makeup, fashion and style and what you wear on the red carpet is always a collaborative effort. They suggest and then you have to go with your instincts too on that day. I am happy that everyone is enjoy and appreciating what I am wearing. I have been feeling amazing and that’s the best thing!
You said recently you loved La La Land and would love to work with Ryan Gosling… Would you love to do a film like that in India?
I think we already at some level are doing musical love stories here. Indian films are musicals too especially with filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Music and dance is such an important part of our culture and it might be slightly different for the market here in Hollywood. I feel La La Land stands out because of the performances and it’s such a classic love story, told in such a beautiful manner. Ryan Gosling is so organic as an actor and he is so delicious — his performance is so special that he has that magical effect on you on screen.