"I never thought of it as a burden back then."
Deepika Padukone detailed the struggles she faced in Bollywood during the initial days of her career.
One of the most popular Indian actresses, Deepika entered the film industry with no roots or prior connections to cinema.
She made her film debut in the South Indian movie Aishwarya (2006).
A year later, she debuted in Bollywood opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om (2007).
Deepika opened up about her industrial struggles as an outsider.
She said: “When you were an outsider 15 or 20 years ago, there was no other option.
“It’s an uphill task for any individual trying to make a mark in a field or profession that their parents don’t come from.
“The fact that we’ve started to articulate things like nepotism is a new trend.
“It existed then, it exists now and it will continue to exist. That was my reality.
“Back then, I had so many things to deal with, not just professionally but also personally.
“I was a teenager moving to a new city with no family or friends in a new industry.
“I had to figure out my meals and transport and lug my own bags around.
“I never thought of it as a burden back then.”
In November 2023, Deepika Padukone appeared on the cover of Vogue India.
The actress also spoke about how her looks in her modelling days convinced people she should settle in places outside India.
She revealed: “Early on in my modelling career, I had an offer to move overseas.
“All of the fashion gurus in India said, ‘You shouldn’t be here, you should be in Paris, New York or Milan’, and I was like, ‘No, those places are not my home. India is home’.”
Deepika made her mark in Hollywood in 2017 when she featured in XXX: Return of Xander Cage, with Vin Diesel.
The Padmaavat (2018) star questioned why she needed to move base:
“Why do I need to move with bag and baggage to have a global impact?”
Deepika also commented on her mental health struggles and the importance of maintaining a healthy balance.
She explained: “I’m a workaholic, but I’m also in that beautiful phase now where I am a Monday-to-Friday workaholic, so I’ve found that balance.
“I was diagnosed with depression in 2014.
“Once that happens, you realise that taking care of your mental health is also work.
“A part of that everyday work is finding balance.”
“I’ve found that balance where I am a proud workaholic but not the type where I feel burnt out, exhausted or like I’m on the verge of having a breakdown.”
2023 was a great year for Deepika. She starred in the lead in Pathaan, followed by an extended cameo in Jawan.
Both films were giant blockbusters and were opposite Shah Rukh Khan.
Deepika is currently wrapping up Fighter, which will mark her first film with Hrithik Roshan.
The film is set to release on January 25, 2024.