Millennium Post

I'm at an age where I feel a lot like Piku: Deepika Padukone

Im at an age where I feel a lot like Piku: Deepika Padukone

Mumbai: Of all the characters that Bollywood star Deepika Padukone has played in her 15-year acting career, her titular role in Shoojit Sircar's "Piku" holds a special place in her heart.

Padukone played the character of a strong-headed ambitious woman Piku Banerjee in the 2015 slice-of-life drama opposite megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who essayed the role of her father and the late Irrfan Khan.

The 36-year-old actor said she and her sister, professional golfer Anisha Padukone, relate the most to Piku.

"There was something very special about the energy in that film. I feel, I and my sister (Anisha) are at an age where we are Piku. There is something about Piku that is very special. And that's one of the movies that keep coming up in conversations. The stage of life that I am at now, that seem to be my most favourite (character)," Padukone said at an event here on Thursday night.

The actor, known for delivering acclaimed performances in films such as Love Aaj Kal, Cocktail, Padmaavat and Gehraiyaan, said during the making of the film everyone's aim was to give their best.

"I was aware of the fact that I will be opposite these two incredible people but what makes for great collaboration is when you are not competing with your co-stars and you are really genuinely invested in telling a good story and that's what we are there to do. I don't think Irrfan was trying to be one up on Mr Bachchan or he was trying to be one up on anyone. It was a beautiful collaborative process and we were invested in giving our best."

The actor also shared her experience of battling mental illness. Padukone first opened about her depression in 2014.

She said she hopes that her story would help other people to sail through the tough times.

"For anyone who has ever experienced mental illness, it can be, I am not saying it is, it can be a lonely journey. And that's when I realised speaking up is how I wanted to take that journey forward. It was my learning, probably my calling, where I felt like by speaking up if I am able to impact one life the purpose would be served," she said.

Her admission about being diagnosed from clinical depression, Padukone said, was the beginning of a bigger cause, which led to setting up a foundation Live Love Laugh, that creates awareness about mental health.

Speaking of the vision and mission of the foundation, the actor said, it is all about giving hope.

"It can be a lonely journey. We are here to say you are not alone, we are here in this together. When I say we, it is us those who experience mental illness as they are caregivers. Because we believe they are equally important parts of the community and society at large. So, giving hope to every person experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and to let you know you are not alone. And it stems, from one line, when I put my mind to it, I don't want one life to be lost because of mental illness," she added.

On the film front, Padukone will next be seen opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Yash Raj Films' "Pathaan". The Siddharth Anand-directed film is scheduled to be released next year in January.

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