No parental pressure, Deepika is a free bird in Bollywood

No parental pressure, Deepika is a free bird in Bollywood

Deepika Padukone

Prakash Padukone, the Badminton legend of India, says that whenever his daughter comes down to her hometown of Bangalore, the only advice that she gets from her parents is -- don't allow yourself to be swept off the feet by the celebrity status nor allow fame to change you as a human being.

"When we meet personally at home, we don't discuss much about films because we don't have knowledge," Deepika's unassuming father, Prakash Padukone, a badminton legend said.

"Our only job when we meet her is to make sure that she remains grounded and she is in touch with the reality because film world is different, (and there is) lot of hype. It's a different world.

"Because, ultimately, whenever she retires -- whether five years, or eight years, or ten years...I don't know..you have to become a normal person again," he says. In addition, Padukone says that their role is to give her moral support and see that she enjoys what she is doing.

"Nothing connected with what films to do...how much to charge and all that", says Padukone, a former All England Badminton Champion. Deepika, who now looks forward to the release of romantic comedy "Housefull" and psychological thriller "Kartik calling Kartik", informs her parents after signing movies but does not discuss about them.

"Thereafter, we generally read in the papers, that's all. Even the story and all, we don't know. She doesn't tell us. When we go for a movie, we don't know what to expect," Padukone says.

"First time when we watch a (Deepika) movie, it's like anybody else. We don't know what's happening, what's the story, she (Deepika) says 'I don't want to tell you, you go and watch'. If you know everything, you don't enjoy so much. Then there is no interest".
In Bollywood for a couple of years now, "Deepika is well-settled in Mumbai, enjoying what she is doing and is doing reasonably well. We are happy about that," Padukone says.

"She is improving with every film she is doing. But she has a long way to go. She is learning and we are happy about her progress". Padukone has no personal choices in terms of the roles that he would like his daughter to play but nevertheless added that the "Love Aaj Kal" actor should play all kinds of roles -- tragedy, comedy and action -- like so many established actors, should keep them as role-models and try to emulate them.

And does Deepika has Hollywood ambitions ? Her dad believes that moment has not come as yet but hastened to add "if a good offer comes, she will take a call. These decisions she will take," says her father.

"When she started with modelling, we didn't know that she would go to Bollywood. That was not on the cards," he recalls. Deepika, a successful model, started her Bollywood career opposite superstar Shah Rukh Khan in 'Om Shanti Om' and her last movie 'Love Aaj Kal' has already become successful. The actress played the role of a fiesty, modern day Meera, who does not believe that love is forever in the movie.

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