Deepika Padukone is an Indian actress and a former model. She appears mostly in Hindi as well as Tamil and Kannada language films. Born to badminton player Prakash Padukone, she chose to become an actress and not pursue a career in sports.
Padukone made her acting debut in the 2000 Tamil film Snegithiye in a minor role called NIMMI. In 2006 she made her debut in kannada film Aishwarya The following year, she made her Hindi film debut in Om Shanti Om, for which she earned the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. It also remains her biggest commercial success so far. She subsequently appeared in films such as Love Aaj Kal (2009) and Housefull (2010). While the former earned her a Filmfare nomination in the Best Actress category, the latter emerged as a commercial success.
In addition to acting, Padukone is also the ambassador of prominent brands such as Tissot, Sony Cybershot, Nescafe and Kingfisher Airlines.
Early life and background
Padukone was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her father, Prakash Padukone, is a former badminton player of international repute, and her mother is a travel agent. Her father was then training in Denmark in the sport and when she was eleven months old, her family moved to Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Padukone also has a younger sister, Anisha, born on 2 February 1991.
Padukone attended Sophia High School in Bangalore, and completed her pre-university studies at Mount Carmel College Bangalore While in high school she played badminton at the state level. However, she was not keen on pursuing a career as a badminton player. During the time of her film debut she was enrolled with the Indira Gandhi National Open University in Bachelors of Arts (Sociology).
Early Modelling Career, until 2006
While in college, Padukone pursued a career in modeling. She was spotted in a ramp competition in NLS, Bangalore. Over the years, she has modeled for such Indian brand names as Liril, Dabur Lal powder, Close-Up toothpaste and Limca, and has been "brand ambassador" for the Jewels of India retail jewelry show. The cosmetics company Maybelline made her its international spokesperson.
At the fifth annual Kingfisher Fashion Awards she was awarded the title "Model of the Year".
Shortly afterward, she was chosen as one of the models for the Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar for 2006 and won two trophies at the Idea Zee Fashion Awards: "Female Model of the Year - (Commercial Assignments)" and "Fresh Face of the Year". Padukone was also chosen as the brand ambassador of Kingfisher Airlines and later Levi Strauss and Tissot SA. In addition, she appeared in the music video for Himesh Reshammiya's song Naam Hai Tera.
Debut & Breakthrough in Films, 2006-09
Padukone made her cinematic debut in Kannada with Aishwarya opposite Upendra in 2006. She later made a successful Bollywood debut in 2007 with Farah Khan's blockbuster Om Shanti Om opposite Shahrukh Khan. The film was a re-incarnation melodrama, featuring her in a double role. Her performance was well received, earning the actress a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award as well as her first Filmfare Best Actress nomination. Taran Adarsh from indiaFM noted, "Deepika has all it takes to be a top star — the personality, the looks and yes, she's supremely talented too. Standing in the same frame as SRK and getting it right is no small achievement.
Padukone was then seen playing a feisty, modern-day Indian woman, Gayatri, in Siddharth Anand's romantic comedy Bachna Ae Haseeno alongside Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Minissha Lamba. The film, which released on 15 August 2008, performed reasonably well at the box office, but her performance drew flak. Adarsh wrote, "Deepika is a sore point. Her role isn't convincing and that's the reason why this performance doesn't work. The only consolation is, she looks gorgeous."
She played a double role again in her next film, Chandni Chowk To China, which released on 16 January 2009. The film, directed by Nikhil Advani, also featured Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Ranvir Shorey in the lead. It was a critical and commercial disaster, with Nikhat Kazmi of The Times Of India commenting, "Deepika looks lost and forlorn for most of the film."
Padukone's fourth release Love Aaj Kal, released on 31 July 2009 and proved to be one of the biggest hits of 2009. Directed by Imtiaz Ali, the film documented the changing value of relationships among the youth. Padukone played the role of Meera Pandit, a practical and head-strong career woman opposite Saif Ali Khan. Of her performance, NDTV's Anupama Chopra wrote, "Deepika looks fabulous but she isn’t a strong enough actor to breathe life into the character." Despite this, she received her second Filmfare Award for Best Actress nomination. The same year, she teamed up with Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan once again for an item number in the Irrfan Khan-Lara Dutta starrer Billu. She also made guest appearances in the Telegu film Love 4 Ever and in Sohail Khan's Main Aur Mrs Khanna.
In March 2008, Padukone began dating Ranbir Kapoor, her co-star from the film Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008). After her high profile break up with Kapoor in November 2009, Padukone has decided to keep her personal life away from media attention.
In 2010 she started dating Kingfisher head honcho Vijay Mallya's son Siddharth Mallya but they broke up in 2012.
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