At 16, Deepika Padukone Made A Choice Between Badminton And Modeling
- Deepika worked as a child model for a couple of commercials
- Before becoming an actor, Deepika was a badminton player
- Deepika made her Bollywood debut with 2007 film Om Shanti Om
Deepika Padukone, who is one of the top actresses of Bollywood, talked about her journey from the badminton court to films in an interview for National Geographic’s series Mega Icons Season 2. The 34-year-old actress, before starting her career in the Indian entertainment industry, was a Badminton player, just like her father, badminton champion Prakash Padukone. Deepika, in her interview, revealed how she practiced badminton rigorously from her childhood to her teenage days but changed her focus to modeling and acting at the age of 16. For Deepika Padukone, badminton has always been her “second love.” Right from her childhood, she enjoyed the limelight and wanted to step into the film industry.
Speaking about pursuing full-time modeling after her class 10 board exams, Deepika, who worked as a child model for a couple of commercials during her childhood, said: “I then went to Copenhagen, Denmark. I travelled alone for the first time when I was 16. When I came back, that was it.”
So, how did she tell her parents about her decision? In the same interview, Deepika Padukone’s mother Ujjala said: “I remember that one morning she woke up and she said, ‘Ma, I have been thinking about this for a long time now. I have been playing badminton only Papa wants me to but it’s not something that I enjoy doing and I seriously want to take up modeling and get into movies.” I didn’t take her seriously and then she said, ‘I have been thinking about this past couple of nights. You wait and see, I will make you proud one day’.”
Before starting her career in acting, Deepika Padukone did several modeling assignments. She also walked the ramp for late designer Wendell Rodricks, on whose suggestion Malaika Arora passed on her name to Farah Khan for the 2007 film Om Shanti Om, which marks Deepika’s Bollywood debut.
Since then, Deepika has featured in films like Bachna Ae Haseeno, Love Aaj Kal, Karthik Calling Karthik, Housefull, Cocktail, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Tamasha, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. Vin Diesel’s XXX: Return Of Xander Cage marked her first project in Hollywood.
Before making it big in the film industry, Deepika also made a name for herself as a badminton player. She even played badminton in national level championships. She underwent rigorous training during her childhood, speaking about which she said on Mega Icons: “The routine really was to wake up every morning at 4 or 5, I’d go for physical conditioning, go back home and go to school. As soon as I finished school, there was no time for chit chat or catch up with friends…Get home, change, have a snack and go the badminton court. Have dinner and you are exhausted by that time and go to sleep and then the same thing again (next day).”
Deepika Padukone will feature in the second season of Mega Icons that will premiere on National Geographic on September 20. The episode will also feature her father, mother and husband, actor Ranveer Singh, talking about her achievements in sports and her love for acting.
Here’s a sneak peek into the Deepika Padukone-special episode of Mega Icons:
Deepika Padukone will next be seen in Kabir Khan’s ’83. She also has a Shakun Batra film lined up.