MUMBAI: Suddenly after the success of Cocktail Deepika Padukone is the flavour of the season. Offers from Prakash Jha, Rohit Shetty and apparently Sanjay Leela Bhansali, among others.
Deepika is excited about working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, provided it happens. “It would be dream come true to work with him. If he’s looking at me for Ram Leela then I’m most certainly looking back at him. The way his heroines’ roles are written is incredible.”
Deepika’s turn as the endearing vixen Veronica has put her in a different league. “I’d say yes, people’s reactions have been surprising. I got compliments from my own fraternity. My contemporaries surprised me by saying they cried and identified with Veronica. Someone called it a selfless performance. I liked that. I don’t want all these compliments to go to my head. It’s never been my intention to go into a different league. I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself. I’ve to admit people are surprised that I could pull it off. Imtiaz Ali (who wrote Cocktail), director Homi Adjania and producer Dinoo Vijayan had the confidence I could it pull off Veronica. I was offered both the female protagonists’ parts, Veronica and Meera. It was Imtiaz who convinced me to take up the unconventional Veronica. We’ve been friends since Love Aaj Kal. He told me Meera was something similar to what I had done in Love Aaj Kal. Meera is someone I can identify with . But Imtiaz said Veronica would be a bigger challenge. I was ready to take on the risk. So I took on Veronica. Once I accepted I surrendered completely. I am glad it worked. When we were shooting it in London we never expected it would turn out so big.”
And to think Deepika didn’t think much of the title. “Cocktail was meant to be the tentative title. We did many brainstorming sessions to come up with another title. Finally nothing else worked.” Tell her she and Saif have become like Hema Malini and Dharmendra and Deepika laughs, “Saif says apart from Bebo (Kareena) he hasn’t done so many films with any other leading lady. We didn’t make a conscious effort to work together. If people like our chemistry, good.”
[pullquote_right]Ranbir and I share a precious friendship, but we are not seeing each other again. [/pullquote_right] Deepika found the process of playing Veronica liberating. “She isn’t a bad character. She is only human. I love the fact that Veronica is who she is and not the least apologetic about it. I’d like to possess the same level of of honesty. Veronica is a lot like my director Homi Adjania. They both wear their heart on their sleeves and don’t mince words and are very comfortable about who they are. Homi is the inspiration for my character.”
The latest we hear is that she’s back together with Ranbir Kapoor and they’ve rekindled their friendship during the shooting of their latest film. When asked about the song Deepika is tightlipped. “I’m not telling you anything about Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. It’s too early to talk about that film. We still have a long way to go. It’s a campus story. My character here is completely different from Veronica in Cocktail. It’s a love story, a romcom. But I don’t like the term rom-com. It gives a frivolous flavour to a film.”
The internet is flooded with reports of Deepika getting back together with Ranbir. She completely refutes the reunion rumours. “We are not seeing each other again. Ranbir and I share a precious friendship. Our focus is to get the film completed. Right now I’m enjoying the success of Cocktail and I don’t want to think about anything that takes away from my work. I work really hard. For a couple of years when I was with Ranbir there was too much focus on my personal life.”