Deepika Padukone says she had fun playing "wicked" in Cocktail. Now gearing up for distinct films like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ram Leela, the actress says she is happy that she gets a "fair amount of choices" in Bollywood.
"Yes, I get a fair amount of choices. There are so many different kinds of films being made, and therefore so many roles. 2012 was an amazing year for cinema. 2013 seems equally exciting," Deepika said.
Working with her former beau Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani wasn't an uncomfortable experience for the 27-year-old.
"The past doesn't come into play at all. We both focus on the work at hand. It's a lot of fun," she said.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Post Cocktail and Race 2, these are good times for you.
A. I was ready to take the risk of playing grey characters. Veronica in Cocktail was very different from what I've done so far. She didn't live by any of the rules. But even Veronica was finally looking for the same things that all girls want: permanence, stability and faith in a relationship. The film's writer, Imtiaz Ali and director Homi Adajania, had the faith that I could pull it off. Their faith gave me the confidence to just go out there and play this wild child.
Q. Before Cocktail and Race 2, everyone had this image of you as sweet benevolent angel.
A. Hey, just because I played grey characters, doesn't mean I am not sweet. Jokes apart, it was fun to play wicked. I'd like to do it more often. I am playing quite an aggressive character in Ram Leela as well.
Q. What's it like being part of Ayan Mukerjee's Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD)?
A. It's a different space from Ayan's Wake Up Sid. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani will prove his versatility . He has kept the romance real and yet it is a fantasy. It's entertaining, yet real.
Q. How was it working with Ranbir Kapoor?
A. Great! We started off our careers on the same day, he with Saawariya, I with Om Shanti Om. To be working with him post Barfi!, when I have a Cocktail behind me, is different from working with him in Bachna Ae Haseeno when we were both raw newcomers.
Q. What is it like working with Ranbir after your break-up?
A. The past doesn't come into play at all. We both focus on the work at hand. It's a lot of fun. Because Ranbir, Ayan and I are friends. Ayan has seen Ranbir and me together. So there was a great comfort level.
Q. You recently shot in Kashmir for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani?
A. Yes, it was my first visit to Kashmir. It's paradise. The people are so warm and hospitable.
Q. I believe Omar Abdullah met you, Ranbir and Ayan?
A. Yes, he did. We were happy to have a meal with him. One memory that I take back from that meeting with him is his humility and simplicity. He is so normal and unaffected. I could listen to him speaking for hours.
Q. I believe you plunged straight from the snow to the sand dunes?
A. Yes, from Kashmir I flew straight to Udaipur for Ram Leela. So from a freezing Kashmir to a summery Udaipur, from the breezy Ayan to a passionate Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I had to pack two different sets of clothes in two different suitcases and acclimatise myself immediately from one kind of filmmaking to another. But it's great.
I am so happy to be working with such different directors. I am waiting to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.
Q. Are you too busy to have fun?
A. I am having fun working. I am enjoying every moment. I am glad I am working with such a variety of directors. My hands are full for the next one year. Nowadays your work isn't done with the last day of shooting. There are promotions to be done.
Q. As an actress in Bollywood, do you get enough substantial roles?
A. Yes, I get a fair amount of choices. There are so many different kinds of films being made, and therefore so many roles. 2012 was an amazing year for cinema. 2013 seems equally exciting.
Q. Any directors on your wish list?
A. I wished to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and it happened. It's a dream come true. I never expected it woud happen so early in my career. If there is anyone else of the calibre in my destiny, it would come to me. I am sure of that.