After rocking the badminton courts alone, Deepika Padukone set out to chase her passion to act. Since her debut as a dream girl in Om Shanti Om, Deepika has starred in 24 films. She has drawn a long list of awards for her acting chops including four Filmfare Awards, three IIFA, nine Screen Awards, and two Producer’s Guild awards.
Now, Deepika has branched out, adding several feathers to her hat – an entrepreneur, investor, producer – and is also the Chairperson of Mumbai Academy of Moving Image. A pioneer in the truest sense, she also founded a non-profit, The Live Love Laugh Foundation in 2016, one year after opening up about her own mental health issues and kickstarting the conversation around it in India.
Deepika also adopted Ambegaon, a village in Maharashtra, and has been ensuring a regular supply of electricity there since 2010. A year before that, the actor participated in the World 10K Marathon to help 81 NGOs raise $13.1 million.
Deepika’s Rise to Fame
The story of how Deepika asked for Rs 10,000 from her parents to cover her portfolio shoot to her current stardom is widely known. However, it was not a straight swing to fame and success. Critics took their time to take her seriously even after her glorious debut.
And Deepika knows to count her blessings. During an interview, she said, “Even when I was written off, I took it as a challenge and healthy criticism and worked on that. While hard work is key to success, it is also important to be passionate and do what you are passionate about and most importantly, enjoy yourself on the way.”
Not only has she made several commercial films, but she has also inspired many with her iconic role in Piku, which showed that there is more to women than just their marital status.
In her next film Chaapak, which she is also producing, Deepika will star as the acid attack survivor and activist Laxmi Aggarwal. The audience will see more of her acting and producing combination with yet another much-anticipated release, ’83 which is based on the life of veteran cricketer Kapil Dev.
Entrepreneurship and Taking Care of the Dough
Deepika knows a thing or two about making every money count. Even as a child, the actor shared that both she and her sister had to earn their pocket money by impressing their parents. In fact, Deepika made headlines when she said that she makes every penny count after being named as the highest-paid actress between June 2015 to June 2016 by Forbes magazine.
It was no surprise that she invested in yogurt company Epigamia in May 2019, and started her own clothing line All About You on e-commerce platform Myntra.
And there is more it. Deepika said, “It’s not really the business angle of it that excited me, it was the creative process. I think designing gave me that creative opportunity to express what I like personally, and it allowed me to make that available to girls who might have a similar taste.”
She has also shown an interesting way to fund her non-profit organisation. On World Mental Health Day 2019, Deepika Padukone opened her closet for a cause, putting her clothes for sale, the proceeds of which will support her non-profit for furthering the cause of mental health The Live Love Laugh Foundation.
As she turns 34, Deepika’s influence is indisputably strong and even bagged international recognition when she was listed among TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2018. As we marvel at this power-packed woman, her mantra is publicly shared. Deepika said, “I meditate. I breathe out what I can’t control and focus on the positives.”
And here’s hoping we see more of her strength and power in the years to come.
Happy Birthday, Deepika!