I would like to play Audrey Hepburn: Deepika Padukone

By Madhusree Chatterjee

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Deepika Padukone has had a dream-run in Bollywood with just three releases, but the model-turned-actress says her dream is to play the elegant Audrey Hepburn, her style icon.

"I would like to play Audrey Hepburn, my style icon, in movies like 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' or 'Roman Holiday'," Deepika told IANS on the sidelines of the Wills India Fashion Week (WIFW) Saturday, where she walked the ramp for Ranna Gill and Rina Dhaka's collections sponsored by luxury brand Fiama Di Wills.

After debuting opposite Shah Rukh Khan in 2007 hit "Om Shanti Om" and doing "Chandni Chowk To China" with Akshay Kumar, Deepika's next is "Love Aaj Kal" alongside Saif Ali Khan. And she is all praise for filmmaker Imtiaz Ali of "Jab We Met" fame.

"I enjoyed working with Imtiaz Ali in his movie 'Love Aaj Kal', where he cast me opposite Saif. It was a dream working for a sensitive director like him. Imtiaz just seemed to know the kind of person we were and brought out the best in us. He guided all through the movie," said the leggy beauty who was dressed in a simple black halter-neck.

Deepika is now looking forward to begin work for newcomer Vijay Lalwani's "Kartik Calling Kartik", which also stars actor-director Farhan Akhtar and Boman Irani.

"It is an offbeat movie, a psychological thriller. But I am not going to talk much about it," she said.

The actress admits she has a soft corner for action movies, though all genres appeal to her.

"An action movie is something I have always wanted to do, but I cannot specify any real genre that appeals to me. Cinema today is changing. And as an actor, I will never throw my hands up... will never be happy saying this is the best character I have portrayed. I am critical of myself, rarely happy," said Deepika.

As Indian cinema changes to adapt new formats and contents, Deepika feels the role of women in cinema is also changing.

"It is becoming more challenging. Even in the past, there were movies where women did not have to run around trees. An actress could opt to show off her talent."

People, she explained, have this strange notion that if a woman wears make-up, she cannot be taken seriously.

"Take off your make-up and only then you can do serious cinema. But glamorous roles and a glamorous screen presence do not make one a non-actor. The content of cinema is also changing, evolving... it is no longer the regular boy meets girl," the actress said.

Deepika usually decides on the projects she takes up after reading the scripts.

"The movies are my call though I run my parents through what I am doing. But they are new to movies, hence unfamiliar. But after 'Om Shanti Om' and 'Bachna Aai Haseeno', I have matured," she said.

The actress confesses that she is not much of a bookworm. "But I am reading the 'Kite Runner' now and it might turn out to be the best book I have ever read. I have grown up listening to all kinds of music - from Kishore da to Mohammed Rafi," she said.

Deepika, who is former badminton player Prakash Padukone's daughter, says she was good in other sports besides badminton as well.

"Apart from badminton, I played state-level basketball, baseball and was an athlete," she said.

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