The girl with an infectious smile, Deepika Padukone turns 26 today. Even as she celebrates her birthday with close friends and family, we trace her journey to fame through films that catapulted her in the league of top actresses in B-Town.
Om Shanti Om
With ‘Om Shanti Om’, a star was born. Deepika made a successful Bollywood debut in 2007 with Farah Khan`s blockbuster ‘Om Shanti Om’ opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The film was a re-incarnation melodrama, featuring her in a double role. Her performance was well received, earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award as well as her first Filmfare Best Actress nomination that year.
Bachna Ae Haseeno
‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ could be remembered more for the off-screen chemistry that Deepika shared with co-star Ranbir Kapoor than their onscreen charisma. Even as the film was called a hit, Deepika’s performance drew flak from critics.
Love Aaj Kal
Essaying the role of Meera Pandit, Deepika played a practical and head-strong career woman opposite Saif Ali Khan in Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Love Aaj Kal’. Deepika looked fabulous in the film and received her second Filmfare Award nomination for Best Actress for the film.
Karthik Calling Karthik
Branded as a commercial failure, ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’ saw Deepika evolve as an actor. Even as the film revolved around Farhan Akhtar, Deepika had her moments to infuse mirth and liveliness in the shots.
A multi-starrer, ‘Housefull’ included Akshay Kumar, Ritesh Deshmukh, Lara Dutta and Deepika Padukone. The film became a blockbuster in India, with a well known film critic raving about Deepika, saying, “She carries her part with amazing confidence...’Housefull’ is the film that would make people notice her talent as well as beauty”.
Deepika’s sporting spirit came to the fore in ‘Lafange Parindey’. The film saw her playing a blind girl hell bent on winning a skating competition. An all out Deepika film, ‘Lafange Parindey’ saw Dips exercise considerable restraint.
Break Ke Baad
Her next release was Kunal Kohli`s syrupy romance ‘Break Ke Baad’ opposite Imran Khan. The film was not a commercial success, but Padukone won favorable reviews. After watching her in the film, critics called her completely spontaneous, crazy and cute.
Prakash Jha’s ‘Aarakshan’ is a coming of age sort of film for Deepika. The film was a reservation melodrama where Dips shone in the medley of power house performers like Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Manoj Bajpayee.
After her de-glam avatar in ‘Aarakshan’, Deepika re-established her diva image with ‘Desi Boyz’. The film belonged to a genre which was quintessentially commercial and cool on eyes, and Deepika here just fit the bill. .