Star Of The Week: Deepika Padukone
As if chalking up one box office bonanza after another wasn’t enough of an achievement, our star of the week, Deepika Padukone, who notched up a whopping 49% of our votes in this week’s poll, has just got herself measured up to be featured as a wax statue in one of London’s most visited tourist attractions, Madame Tussauds.
BollyBrit’s star of the week this week should be: One of two superstars who’re about to get immortalised in wax OR one of two new debutants who made a smashing debut in an otherwise average film. OR someone else? Let me know!— BollyBrit® (@BollyBrit) July 25, 2018
From being labelled wooden, plastic and quite frankly a bit of a non-performer, Deepika’s come quite the distance since she made an impressive debut in Farah Khan’s rebirth drama Om Shanti Om. She didn’t quite live up to all the initial hype and promise though, and a slew of underwhelming performances in abysmal films (except perhaps a stray Love Aaj Kal) signalled the end of an otherwise promising career.
It wasn’t until 2012 in Homi Adajania’s Cocktail as the feisty ‘it’ girl Veronica who falls for the boy next door, did she really make ‘filmi’ connoisseurs truly take notice of her underutilised talent that was waiting to be tapped into. She followed this up with back to back blockbusters in 2013 leaving literally every contemporary eating dust. So whether it was Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express or Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, they all struck box office gold and a lot of their success was attributed to Padukone, who attempted to do something different in each of them, and practically stole the thunder from her co-stars no matter how big or small they were.
Happy New Year, Piku and Bajirao Mastani all but cemented her position as she sat pretty at the top and handled every threat, every controversy that came her way prior to the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmaavat. A fictional re-telling of the story of a legendary Rajput queen, Rani Padmini, who defends her honour against a Muslim invader, Deepika was poise and patience personified even as her co-stars remained schtum amidst the heated media storm. The film’s mammoth success was obviously almost entirely attributed to her despite having popular faces like Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh top-lining the cast, and why not? The film was sold entirely on her name given that she was the most successful of the three, at least at that point in time.
The Madam Tussauds honour is yet another feather in an already overstuffed cap, and given the heat and brickbats that were hurled at her over the past year, we’d say she’s more than a worthy winner of our 'Star Of The Week' title this week! Bravo Deepika!
Net worth: $25 Million
Notable performances: Om Shanti Om, Cocktail, Piku, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Tamasha, Padmaavat
Awards: 3 Filmfare Awards
Frequently paired with: Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan
Upcoming films: No official announcements as of yet