Deepika Padukone, what happened to you?

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Gippy director Sonam Nair has just one question for Bollywood's Reigning Queen.

Sonam Nair

I'm only one film old as a director, but I have been a girl for 29 years now. And I have to say, both the filmmaker in me, and the girl, are absolutely fascinated by Deepika Padukone. When you spend so much time making, writing, talking and watching movies, and when you've met actors in person and seen that they're just regular people — films lose their magical quality. You begin to watch an actor's performance rather than concentrate on the role they're playing. You begin to notice inconsistencies in the script, rather than enjoy the narrative. You begin to calculate what the filmmaker wants you to feel, rather than feel it yourself.

But for me, after a long time, someone has brought the old magic into the movies. When I watch Deepika on screen, I feel like a child again, staring at the actor in awe, wishing I could grow up to be like her.

The truth is, like most people, I wasn't a huge Deepika fan when she started. I thought she was pretty and might do a few masala films and be forgotten. I don't think anyone saw her coming. But even before 'Cocktail' hit the screens, I started to admire something about Deepika.

She always chose really strong, intelligent and independent characters to play. Even when her contemporaries were playing ditzy girls or the hero's arm candy, giving bigger hits and making a name for themselves, there was a dignity to every role she played. Whether it was a girl working to pay her way through college in 'Bachna Ae Haseeno', or a mature and practical girl in 'Love Aaj Kal' who spoke intelligently about relationships and the men in her life. Although I have to admit, 'Cocktail' is when I really fell in love with Deepika. I remember watching the film and just asking the same question over and over again — what HAPPENED to Deepika? The best part is that 'Cocktail' was not just a one-off wonder. That same thought keeps running in my head whenever a new Deepika film comes out. I would still like an answer to that, if you're reading, Deepika. What happened to you? And can it please happen to me too?

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