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"Ranbir is a part of my life": Deepika

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    Deepika Padukone never thought of getting into films, as her family has not connection with films whatsoever. However, she modeled all the way to films. Having acted in a Kannada film, she is entering Bollywood in a big way by acting opposite none other than Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om. Now, she speaks about the film, her love life and what not.

    You had a buffet of offers. Why did you decide on Om Shanti Om as your debut?
    Yes, I got a lot of offers but I wasn't ready then. The time I was offered OSO was when I had decided to act. I had done quite a bit of modelling and wanted to give acting a try. That's when Farah approached me and I accepted. Today, I'm so glad that I waited since I could not have had a better debut. Farah and SRK have taken superb care of me. Farah treats me like her child.

    Did you always want to be a Bollywood heroine?
    I never wanted to be a Bollywood heroine. The thought never crossed my mind. As a child, I never stuck poses in front of the mirror. It slowly crept up on me as I started interacting with people and began discovering myself.

    What was your perception of a Bollywood heroine?
    For me, Bollywood meant buying a Rs 150 ticket and sitting in an air-conditioned theatre. I don't come from a film family. To me, a Bollywood heroine meant someone I see on the big screen, who is based in Mumbai and whom people attribute larger than life proportions.

    And now?
    Now I think that it's tough being a Bollywood heroine. You need to work really hard.

    Has Shah Rukh Khan given you any tips?
    (Laughs) Oh he has given me lots of tips, not just about acting but about what life is going to be all about when the film releases and also what life is all about.

    Since its Farah's film, how hard did you rehearse to get the dance steps right?
    Lots of rehearsals. Now it's for all of you to tell me how good or bad a dancer I'm. But I enjoy dancing.

    Even though your first film is yet to be released, your name regularly crops up in controversies. Is it true that you kept producer Boney Kapoor waiting for over three hours at a screening for the Telugu film Pokiri?
    This is not true at all. It's a complete misunderstanding. I didn't keep anyone waiting. I've cleared it with Boneyji. We've spoken and he knows the reason why I couldn't do the film.

    There is intense speculation about your love life. Who are you dating--Ranbir Kapoor or Nihar Pandya?
    Ranbir is a part of my life. We are friends. Though Nihar and me were seeing each other at one point, we aren't anymore. But Nihar is still a friend.

    So you're single?
    (Laughs) Yeah, obviously.

    Are you paired with Ranbir in Siddharth Anand's next film with Yash Raj Films?
    I can't comment on any other film except Om Shanti Om at this point.

    Are you prepared for the media glare in your personal life once your film releases?
    It's already started. I'm 100 per cent prepared.

    Industry buzz about you is that you're in the Aishwarya Rai mould. Comment.
    (Gulps) It's great if they say so. Its fantastic for me. I've always looked up to Ash since the time she won the Miss World title. I've grown up watching her and I admire the way she has handled her career. I met her recently at a social event and she looked fabulous. I haven't had a conversation with her though.

    Name a few actors that you admire.
    I've grown up watching the Khans so they're on top of my list. I enjoy watching Karisma Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi and Kajol on screen.

    Tell me the starriest thing you've done recently.
    I'm so not like a star. I'm a very normal person. Even if I've thrown a tantrum it wasn't intentional. I mean, I don't even know how to throw a tantrum. I've come up the hard way so I appreciate all this. Also I'm used to stardom in the sense that my dad (badminton champ, Prakash Padukone) has also gone through it. At the end of the day, everyone is doing a job and the best way to conduct yourself in any field is to be a professional. That's what I believe in.

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