The BoF Podcast | Deepika Padukone on the Power of Patience

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Deepika Padukone, one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actors, started her career as a former professional badminton player before appearing in her first film, “Om Shanti Om,” in 2007, for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. In 2017, she crossed over to Hollywood with the action film “XXX: Return of Xander Cage.” More recently, she’s become a force in fashion as a global brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Levi’s and Cartier.

Padukone grew up far from the limelight and was an outsider to both the film and fashion industries. Setting herself up on the global stage as a young Indian woman, she had to combat preconceptions at every corner, she said.

“Of course, the hustle is much harder [as an outsider]. You’ve got to wait much longer for the right opportunities,” she says. “But also, from my perspective, the gratification is so much more.”

This week on The BoF Podcast, BoF’s founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed speaks with the actor and BoF 500 cover star about the highs and lows of her career and why India needs more recognition from the West on the global stage.

Key Insights:

  • Padukone said her heritage is fundamental to who she is and how she represents herself on the global stage. “I just feel like India has so much to offer and I’ve been able to do everything that I do, just being Indian and being based out here,” she says. “In a way that feels authentic to me and to who I am.”
  • Padukone says Indians are still stereotyped — especially in Hollywood. “You are the scientist. You are the computer geek. You are the taxi driver. You are the therapist. You are the owner of a convenience store,” she says. “I’ve had my fans ask me why I’ve not done more [global] movies. But that’s not what I’m settling for, because I am — and we are — so much more than that.”
  • Padukone says fashion brands need to understand more about India’s rich heritage. . “It’s extremely diverse. It’s not one India, it’s many Indias,” she says. “And as Indians, we’re also extremely proud of our history, our culture and our heritage.”
  • After being diagnosed with clinical depression, Padukone felt the need to open up conversations about mental illness in India. “No one in India had spoken about it like this before, and it felt to me that there was this huge burden on our country’s shoulders that everyone was dealing with, but dealing with silently,” Padukone says.
  • Padukone advises having  patience for people who want to achieve their dreams. “I think the one thing that isn’t given enough importance to me is the power of patience,” she says. “Everything is instant gratification, but if there’s one thing that has worked for me it has been to be patient.”

Additional Resources:

  • Deepika Padukone: The Bollywood Star That Fashion’s Megabrands Are Betting On: With India set to become the world’s third-largest fashion market, Bollywood’s most-popular actress has become a global brand ambassador for the likes of Levi’s, Adidas, Louis Vuitton and now, Cartier. In an exclusive interview with Imran Amed, she opens up about her global ambitions — and what the fashion world needs to understand about India.
  • Deepika Padukone Is Cartier’s Newest Ambassador: The Bollywood actress and BoF 500 cover star signals the French jewellery house’s ambitions to broaden its reach among Indian consumers, both domestically and abroad.

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