On the day I am to meet Deepika Padukone, the Indian newsstands are once again filled with magazines carrying her picture on their covers. A couple of recent public sightings of the elusive actress were enough to ignite a torrent of headlines about her relationship with her new found love interest - Siddharth Mallya. But that's not what the audiences, or to be more precise, her fans are interested in.
So let me tell you what happened when I met the persuasive Padukone. The day I am to meet Deepika, I was really energized. So I put on what usually men put on when they go to date a chick for the first time: Paco Rabanne, blue denims and a white shirt. When I see her in flesh, she too is wearing the identical. Sitting at an arm's length, I still couldn't smell what she had put on.
Anyway, the attire matched and it meant that we were sure to get along, and we did. After catching the industry's eye since her big debut in 2007, Deepika Padukone has not only matured as an actress but has learnt how to balance her career. One of the most gifted young talents of our industry; she's an engaging and an honest conversationalist with a relaxed manner and a wicked sense of humour and with her stupendous rise to stardom, we've no doubt that she's also pinned up on the walls of thousands around the world but the less said about that, the better.
How long have you come since you made your debut in 2007?
I have come a long way since my debut but I still think I have a lot left to achieve for myself and I'm getting there. But there is much more I want to do.
How do you take 'break up'?
I don't identify with today's youth mentality of breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend. Yes, they are more practical but my thinking is rooted to our tradition. I've been brought up in a family where we put emotion before anything else. I respect my relationships and I am very traditional when it comes to maintaining them.
Deepika Padukone ...which means there is a serious problem with men and women who break up?
Today, when I see so many relationships crumbling in front of my eyes, it's something I don't understand why. I guess it's to do with one's tolerance level. People are not ready to put up with problems anymore. Whenever there is a slight problem, people think that it's over.
Tell us something about Imran Khan, your co-actor in the film.
Imran Khan has grown as an actor since his first film. I think Break Ke Baad will be his best performance so far. He has learnt with every film and he is the most spontaneous co-actor I've worked with. He is brilliant and you will soon see that on the big screen.
Do you share your personal life stories with your director so he can incorporate a few things here and there?
There are certain things that an actor keeps to herself and we don't really share our own stories or experiences with the writers of the film we are working on nor do we share it with the director or producers. We are given a bound script and the changes are made by the director, and not us. Yes, we observe people and learn from real life experiences but we don't necessarily talk about it.
Audiences are of the opinion that your role in the film is more powerful than that of Imran's…
My character empowers Imran's character and thus the audiences who've seen the promo thinks that I am dominating in the film than he is. But that's how my role is etched. I play Aliya in the film. She is very aggressive and professionally she wants to achieve a lot for herself. These are things I identify with my role. The facts that she doesn't believe in love and is immature in the film are the things, I, as a professional don't identify with.
Deepika Padukone Does music inspire you?
I love listening to music. I think it can change your mood completely. As an actor, if you listen to some song and then you perform in front of the camera, it really helps to get you into the mood. I'd love to learn a musical instrument at some point in my life and when it comes to filming a dance number for the film, I am the happiest.
How was it to work with debutant director Danish Aslam?
One thing that really drew me to be a part of Break Ke Baad was Danish's confidence. The script was tight. Danish Aslam has assisted Kunal Kohli and Yash Raj Films for more than seven years now and it's his working experience that counts. He isn't formal. He is relaxed and easy and for a film like this, it really helps.
Now that you've done Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, you've dissected your audience!
There is a certain audience that wants to see me in romantic comedies and commercial cinema and then there is an audience who wants to see me in a role like I'm doing in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. So I'd love to do all kinds of roles because it is challenging for any actor or else you will always be stuck in a rut.