Deepika Padukone on being the highest-paid actress in Bollywood, gender parity, and mental health
Deepika Padukone confessed that even though she disliked discussing remuneration, she realised for the cause of gender parity, she ought begin the conversation
Actress Deepika Padukone was recently interviewed by journalist Anuradha Sengupta at the International Advertising Association meet held in Kochi. During the interaction, the actress spoke about her career, mental health and and being married to Ranveer Singh.
The actress revealed that her first tryst with modelling was back in school when her friend's mother, a modelling agent, planted the idea in her and her mother's head. "I did a few campaigns here and there, but professionally my first brand was Lyril." said Deepika. When asked what her pointers are before lending her own brand equity to any particular product, the actress said that money and time were secondary factors to her but the product's brand value was her main concern — "It's important to have associations, whether films of brands, that come from a place of authenticity and honesty."
Deepika set off a very important conversation when she chose to spoke about her mental illness issues. When asked how she went about the process, the actress said it was her mother who noticed the change in behaviour and suggested professional help. "India currently suffers from two issues — lack of awareness and stigma against mental health issues. Until the two are worked on, the problem will persist."
Deepika also pointed out that it's often "dangerous" to pursue people suffering from depression to 'snap out of it' by taking them out for a party or making them listen to 'happy music'. "Personally, it would be more harmful for me at the time." added the actress. "Depression is very nuanced, so it needs care and attention."
The actress, who married Ranveer Singh in November last year, revealed that he has a very emotional, sensitive side to him which audiences often do not get to witness. "I know Ranveer when he is switched off. He is very sensitive and emotional and I love that fact."
Talking about her craft and the movies that have helped her achieve this status, the actress revealed her character of Veronica from Cocktail is really special to her. "I don't think Veronica has left my system, especially because she was so unlike me." However, Deepika considers Piku her best work.
Deepika's upcoming film Chhapaak was never a business decision, especially since it was not associated with a production house when the actress got the project. "When Meghna (Gulzar, the director) came to me with the script, it was too beautiful for me to not take up."
When asked if she is the highest-paid actress in the industry now, she graciously agreed. "A few years back I would feel apologetic about it. I'm not someone who likes discussing remuneration, but to take the conversation of gender parity forward, I realised this needs to be openly discussed."
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