November 9th marks the eighth anniversary of Deepika Padukone’s big Bollywood debut in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om. It’s been a long road for the Bollywood actress, but today, she’s undoubtedly the number one actress in India. Here are 8 lessons we’ve learned from Deepika Padukone over the years!
1. Start With A Bang
It helps when you start your career opposite Bollywood King Shahrukh Khan in a blockbuster film. We should all be so lucky, right? But while Deepika may been handed a dream debut, she certainly made the most of it, playing her double role in Om Shanti Om with the spark and luminescence of a veteran.
2. Confidence is Key
If you got it, flaunt it! Bollywood is a cutthroat industry, and no one will believe in you unless you believe in yourself. Even when her career was at an all-time low, Deepika carried herself with poise, dignity, and a spunk in her step.
3. You Have to Ride Out the Lows to Reach the Highs
Deepika didn’t become a superstar overnight. After her debut, she struggled for years to find her footing in the industry before a string of critical and commercial successes in 2013 put her on top. It just goes to show that if you keep your eye on the prize, you’ll eventually reach your goals!
4. It’s Okay to Laugh at Yourself
Bollywood actresses are expected to be diplomatic, composed, and innocent throughout their careers…but sometimes, it’s okay to let yourself be the butt of the joke! Others may have recoiled at having irreverent cracks made at their expense, but Deepika took it all in her stride!
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Bollywood is notoriously exclusive, but every once in awhile, an outsider sneaks in. Deepika may not have been a natural actress or dancer, and she may not have had any filmi connections, but she worked her butt off for eight years. Today, she’s regarded as one of the best actresses and dancers in the industry, and she’s headlining a big-budget magnum opus. We’re guessing all the people who wrote her off as just a pretty face are feeling foolish right about now!
6. You CAN Be Friends with Your Ex!
Anyone who witnessed Ranbir and Deepika’s messy public breakup a few years ago would be shocked to see just how close the two of them are today. They broke the ice by working together in the 2013 blockbuster Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, reminding everybody of their kick-ass chemistry and turning them into one of the most popular onscreen jodis. Their amicable personal and professional relationship continues to this day, as witnessed at their adorable promotional appearances for their upcoming film Tamasha.
7. It’s Important to Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
The public was shocked when Deepika opened up about her struggle with depression in early 2015. No one expected a girl who was by all accounts on top of the world to suffer from a mental illness, let alone to speak about it publicly. It took guts, to say the least. But it was an important step in creating a dialogue around mental health issues, which have been stigmatized for far too long. We can only imagine how many people were encouraged to seek help because of her revelation, and for that alone, we all owe her a big ‘Thank you’.
8. Never Be Afraid to Stand Up for Yourself
Deepika isn’t shy about putting her foot down when something makes her uncomfortable. When Times of India crossed the line by posting pictures of Deepika’s cleavage without her consent, she spoke up, and spoke loudly. She galvanized a movement that forced us all to critically examine the issue of female objectification in the media, with all of Bollywood rallying around her. You go, girl!