Deepika Padukone on Padmavati controversy: The only people we are answerable to is the censor board

Nothing can stop the release of 'Padmavati', says Deepika Padukone.
News,Deepika Padukone,Padmavati
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A decade ago when she forayed into Bollywood, Deepika Padukone never imagined she would be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroine.

Now, as she prepares for the release of epic drama "Padmavati", which clocks her trilogy with the filmmaker, the actress is confident the movie will tide over the controversy, hit the screens and win a "bigger battle" for the industry.

"As a woman, I feel proud to be a part of this film, and to tell this story, which needs to be told. And it needs to be told now," Deepika, who plays the title role in "Padmavati" -- Bhansali's professed tribute to the sacrifice, valour and honour of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati -- told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Doubts on the extent to which the NationalAward winning filmmaker has fictionalised the story, has led to a spiralling controversy with politicians, organisations and individuals raising a finger at Bhansali for "distorting history" and demanding that the release of "Padmavati" be stalled. Deepika is convinced the movie will release, as scheduled, on December 1.

"It's appalling, it's absolutely appalling. What have we gotten ourselves into? And where have we reached as a nation? We have regressed," she said, commenting on the hullabaloo the movie is causing pre-release.

"The only people we are answerable to is the censor board, and I know and I believe that nothing can stop the release of this film," said Deepika, adding that the film industry's support symbolises how "this is not about 'Padmavati'... We're fighting a much bigger battle".

"Padmavati" marks the third film that Deepika has worked in under Bhansali's direction after romantic crime drama "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela" and historical drama "Bajirao Mastani" -- all of which, she says, gave her roles "so similar, yet so different".

"They are very independent individuals and very strong characters," Deepika said, her voice exuding pride that in "Padmavati", while there are two men -- Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh -- she essays the title role, which "does not happen often in a woman's career".

"I celebrate that," she said.

Interestingly, November has marked not just Deepika's 10 years in the film industry -- her debut film "Om Shanti Om" was released on November 9 -- but also November 15 is when "... Ram-Leela" hit the screens four years ago.

"When I debuted, 'Saawariya' (directed by Bhansali) and 'Om Shanti Om' had released on the same day. I remember back then, there was this whole thing about the films clashing, this debut versus that debut. But I was so naive and so new that none of that made any sense to me at that point. The only thought I remember thinking to myself then was, 'Oh! How come he didn't cast me inhis movie?'

"I didn't ever think that I could be a Bhansali heroine," said the daughter of badminton icon Prakash Padukone.

She describes the "evolution" as "phenomenal".

"From never having been to a film set before and to not knowing how to deliver dialogues to today enjoying the craft so much where I am the most peaceful and happiest when I am in front of the camera... I think that's the evolution. And then along the way you meet a Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who adds so much meaning to me not just as an actor and performer, but also as a human being," the actor said. 

"Ten years ago, thinking that I don't fit the mould of being a Bhansali heroine, and today working in three films with him back-to-back... It's been a pretty incredible journey," said Deepika, who says she senses a soul, heart and mind connect with the director.

"We just understand each other by just looking at each other... I think you can only get to that stage when you reach a different sort of, almost a spiritual level of creativity, where you're not afraid to take risks or failure. Everything you want to do is coming with a pure heart and a pure intention."

So, can one expect them to collaborate yet again?

"Well, you never know. As of now, we are all focussed on 'Padmavati'. And I would love to, although at this point, I also need to heal emotionally, mentally and physically from this experience. I think he and I both need to heal from this experience before we collaborate again," she said.

Comments

Gutsy woman..the only actors from the movie who is speaking up and standing up for the movie against the bullies

The way she's standing up for her film just makes me incredibly proud to be her fan. Keep going, Deepika!

What kind of pics is this?!...

Oh PULLEASE. SLB is making a film on an EPIC POEM, a work of art. He is not claiming this is how it happened. What is so difficult to understand? There are 1000s of stories about Akbar and Birbal in folklore, not necessarily true or Anarkali and Saleem, should the makers of Mughal E Azam have been attacked? esply when it is a movie that has made India proud on the world stage. Ditto Devdas. Wake up my deshvasiyon and let's enter into the 21st century, shall we? PV pls post. You give free reign to everyone but messages that support DP/Padmavati

There has to be some line between fact and fiction. If 50 years from now someone makes film on Sr. Padukone sir and do not take permission or show film to family before screening, that will not be acceptable to Deepika and sport fraternity especially if the trailor shows actor playing anything but badminton. Similarly Mewar royal family and others are protesting. Their way of protest by indulging in violence is wrong but bottom line is SLB should have discussed and should have taken Mewar royal in confidence before starting the movie.

Deepika's dad is real. Padmavati was mentioned in a poem seven hundred years ago, no one knows if the story was real or not. Stop manipulating and behaving like an uneducated person

The movie mentions names of Mewar king and royal. Maybe 700 years back she was real. Mewar royal claim to have records from that era, so as general common sense SLB should have discussed with them. Like Mewar royals are saying, it is not only about the queen but also other characters from their family who are portrayed in the movie. SLB is superbly creatively and DP, RV and Shahid are very talented too but why not to have permission from family before portraying their ancestors with real name in movie. If SLB can consult historians for this subject why not consult Mewar royals too. Or simply he could have said it is fictional movie but he mentioned it is based on historical research and that is problem.
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the best boyfriend ever is the most vulnerable target on account of playing khilji- the enemy character. theyve been threatening to attack him for ages now. im sure this was the film's strategy. dont be naive. PV pls post.

Finally, she is speaking up for something she should be speaking up and standing up for, and she is doing it in a very dignified manner, by not being demeaning to anyone, but by stating the facts! Queen PADMAVATI!!

Where is the Best Boyfriend ever???/... does he have a view or not...or he will come only to take credit if the movie is successful....also Shahid?

LOVE ppl like her, sonam, arjun who are atleast standing up for what they believe in. You go dp. Public will take care of these useless ppl in next election

Love you DP. Padmavati will be a super hit

So proud and brave of her for speaking up

A bigger battle only when it concerns her movies and herself

Atleast she does that ...All actors these day's are shit scared to talk or comment on any political issue. And stars who have such presence and popularity like Dp are not't even opening their mouth.
She gave her opinion few hours ago and that Bjp subramanyam swami targetted her, that's the impact Dp has ...That's why she carefully chooses her words . She infact speaking up is a very brave move. Proud of her. Pls post it pv.

That is a very bad picture of her.

Still looks so elegant

my queen. love from Afghanistan.

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