Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak trailer got not just Deepika but every one emotional. So when we met the actor, she told us how many times she broke down while shooting for the Meghna Gulzar film and who were the people she would depend on for emotional support. Deepika even told us her birthday plans. Listen in:
I loved the trailer. And let me tell you when the trailer launch was happening, I was not there, I watched it online and as you were crying, I was crying. How many times did you have this emotional moment while shooting?
Deepika: I mean, quite a few times. But I think that, that’s the process of being an actor. That’s the process of filmmaking and that’s the process of choosing scripts like this. It’s a given that emotionally it’s been tough and it’s been challenging, but I haven’t sat down and thought and counted the number of times that I probably felt a certain way.
To get the look right, did you all try different things? How many look tests did you have? What was the process like, just tell me that.
Deepika: The process actually began almost six or eight months before we started filming and meeting Lakshmi, the prosthetics, getting the look right. And just, you know, in silent moments, you know, thinking to myself about what this film is going to be for me. Because eventually, you can look the part but you also need to feel the part.
You just got married after the look tests happened and then you went to shoot the film. I have heard this in an interview where you said that, you had to have a therapist on set. So emotionally, how was it to balance your personal life, when you had just got married and coming back to your husband after shooting a difficult scene?
Deepika: Everyday had its own sort of way of, you know, being dealt with. I don’t think there was one set formula to how I was dealing with a day because I didn’t know what to expect from each day. Whatever said and done, yes, I did have emotional support. Whether it was in my counsellor, whether it was in Ranveer, who was there for some time, he was there to visit me. If we was filming in Bombay, then of course, I was coming home to him every night. But I was aware of the fact that it could take the sort of toll on me and it did, so I wasn’t caught off guard. I wasn’t, surprised neither did I question it, I allowed myself to go through that experience.
In an interview, you had said, “All of us need to get to a place which is beyond our physical appearance.” So, after this experience or during this experience, did you ever feel that because you all are actors, you are always supposed to look a certain way in public and Deepika Padukone is always flawless and perfect. Is it too much of a pressure?
Deepika: I don’t think of it as pressure. Yes, sometimes it is slightly more time consuming, because when you go somewhere, you know, can you just go like that? Chances are maybe not. Chances are more likely that you’ll have to get into hair and makeup and get ready and go. It also depends on where you’re going. But of course, there are days where sometimes you don’t feel like going and you have to push yourself. If I really just emotionally, just do not feel like doing something then I don’t do it.
So the airport look, is it exhausting?
Deepika: What is exhausting is you know, sometimes you come off a really long flight, and you just couldn’t be bothered. And then to have cameras in your face, sometimes is exhausting. But other than that it doesn’t matter. I mean, you got to travel from point A to point B and wear clothes, so that doesn’t matter.
So what has been the toughest day on the set?
Deepika: I wouldn’t say tough, but if I can, you know, I think the most memorable day for me would be on the very first day when Lakshmi walked on to set and she looked at me and said, I reminded her exactly of herself. You know, as an actor, there’s no bigger validation than that when the person that you’re playing on screen gives you that kind of confidence and validation. Somewhere you feel like you are doing the right thing. You feel like you’re on the right path.
So, that was my next question, as an actor, you’re telling a story, does it always come to your mind that, “Am I doing justice to Lakshmi’s story?”
Deepika: Yes, I think at the back of your mind, you’re always cognisant of the fact that this is not fictional or a fictitious character that you can just do whatever you want with it and no one is more likely than not that people will not question it really because it could be whatever you want it to be, as an actor. But when you play a character like this, and that too a living character who comes to your set, who visits, who has access to everything that you’re doing, of course, there is that added pressure. You have to function with a sense of responsibility, the responsibility of playing a person on screen, a real life character.
Somebody from the sets told me that Ranveer had come to visit you on the sets in Delhi and the crew was so excited, they were all calling him ‘Jiju’. Tell me what was it like when you are doing such a serious film and your partner comes in and this whole thing changes, you know, everybody looks happy because Ranveer is infectious.
Deepika: I mean, I think it was the same even when Meghna’s husband came on. So, I don’t think it’s so much about Ranveer Singh walking onto set. So it’s tricky, on one hand you want them to be there but on the other hand, sometimes if you’re doing something that’s complicated emotionally and you want to be isolated, then that’s tricky. Largely, it’s just nice to have family around, especially when you’re playing a character like this and just go back and talk to the person about your day and what was challenging, what was easy, how your day was.
What are your birthday plans?
Deepika: I have zero birthday plans. Yeah, I don’t know if there’s some surprise planned for me but...
Is Ranveer good at surprises?
Deepika: Yes, he is
Then surely something is up.
Deepika: Oh, God! I hope he doesn’t see this. There’s no pressure on you, but it’s not on top of my mind at all. I’m forgetting the 5th, I’m actually only focusing on the 10th.