Deepika Padukone on TIME cover: “My mission has always been to make a global impact”

Azha Khan



The new issue of TIME features a cover story by TIME’s Astha Rajvanshi on how Deepika Padukone, India’s most popular actress, has a vision for what it means to be a truly global superstar.

TIME’s Astha Rajvanshi said, “Deepika Padukone never set out to take India to the world. She wanted the world to come to India…the 37-year-old is now a legend in her own right… she is the highest-paid actress in India….Padukone’s 16-year career is an exception to the rule in Bolly­wood, the cutthroat Hindi-­language film industry, known for prizing youth and continually looking for the next new thing.”

Rajvanshi continues, “In Padukone, we see a quiet trailblazer who makes her own rules, all the while embodying the feminine ideal that Bollywood wants to romance. She has emerged from the hopes and dreams of modern Indian women: someone with the utmost freedom to choose how she lives, works, and rests.”


On how, as the most popular actress in the world’s most populous country, she’s often asked if she’s going to move to Hollywood, Padukone tells TIME: “My mission has always been to make a global impact while still being rooted in my country.”

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On contemplating her success: “I didn’t have a game plan for how to get here, but I didn’t see failure on my vision board.”

On how she didn’t grow up thinking she would even become an actor: “From my story so far, there’s nothing that indicates that I would have anything to do with the movies… The weird thing is that the few times a year my family watched a movie, I felt a connection. Like that’s where I’m going to be one day.”

On India making history by winning its first Oscar for Best Original Song: “But I don’t think we should be happy with one Oscar for a song and one Oscar for a documentary… I hope we can look at this as the beginning of an opportunity.”

On the support she has received for opening up about her mental health: “The beautiful part is that millions of them will probably never meet me, but they’re still on the journey of life with me… They understand my body language, my expressions, my silences.”