Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone, who recently graced the cover of TIME magazine, remains unperturbed by the constant political backlash she has faced throughout her illustrious 15-year career. The magazine cover features Padukone donning an oversized beige pant-suit and bare feet, with the headline proclaiming her as “The Global Star: Deepika Padukone Is Bringing the World to Bollywood.”
Padukone joins the prestigious list of Indian luminaries, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aamir Khan, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who have graced the cover of TIME magazine. In 2018, she was honored as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, alongside notable personalities such as former Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder of cab aggregator Ola.
During the interview with TIME, Padukone was confronted with the controversies she has found herself embroiled in, such as the alleged distortion of historical facts in “Padmaavat,” her support for JNU students during the release of her maiden production “Chhapaak,” and recent allegations of hurting religious sentiments by wearing a “saffron” bikini in the song “Besharam Rang” from the movie “Pathaan.”
In response to the question about the constant political backlash, Padukone offered a candid perspective. She admitted, “I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel something about it. But the truth is, I don’t feel anything about it.” The 37-year-old actress exuded a sense of resilience and indifference towards the controversies that have surrounded her career.
Embracing her moment in the spotlight, Padukone asserted, “This is India’s moment.” Her presence at the 95th Academy Awards, where she introduced the Best Original Song winner from the blockbuster film “RRR,” showcased her global influence. Additionally, she served on the jury for the 75th Cannes Film Festival and became the first Indian brand ambassador for prestigious international fashion labels like Louis Vuitton and Cartier. Padukone’s fashion choices at events like the Met Gala consistently create ripples in the industry.
Padukone emphasized the global impact of Indian cinema and the emerging influence of young India. She spoke about the amalgamation of traditional Indian roots and the contemporary Indian narrative, which she finds fascinating. The actor believes that India’s film industry is not limited to Hindi films alone and that its potential is far-reaching.
While celebrating India’s recent victories at the Academy Awards, including an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject, Padukone expressed a desire for continued progress. She urged the nation to view these achievements as opportunities rather than isolated successes, stating, “I hope we can look at this as the beginning of an opportunity.”
Deepika Padukone’s unwavering spirit in the face of political controversies and her global accomplishments in the world of cinema have solidified her position as a trailblazing force in Bollywood and beyond. Her journey epitomizes the convergence of cultures and the immense potential of Indian cinema on the global stage.