The rise and rise of Deepika Padukone – from a Kingfisher Calendar Girl to India’s top actress!


Deepika Padukone, Happy Birthday! Lady you’ve made it to the top and it isn’t an easy road as many would like to believe. You’ve carved a niche for yourself in an industry that’s extremely competitive and ruled by Khans and khandaans. You’ve managed to be hero. And yes, you’ve seen the ups and downs and stood tall. And while yours is not a story of rags to riches, it definitely is a success story that inspires. Here’s listing down Deepika’s journey from being a Kingfisher Calendar girl to India’s top actress ready to own Hollywood…


Deepika started modelling at a very young age, however her claim to fame was the Kingfisher Calendar. Not only marked her runway debut in 2015, Deepika also won the Kingfisher Model Of The Year that year. Deepika went on to feature in some popular commercials and Himesh Reshammiya’s hit music video Naam Hai Tera. There was no way Ms Padukone could have stayed away from the film business, coz she was being flooded with offers. The actress however decided to prep herself before entering the movie business and joined Anupam Kher’s acting classes.

#Acting Debut

Instead of choosing a Bollywood film, Deepika went on to do a Kannada film titled Aishwarya and kickstarted her acting career down south. The film was a superhit. And then she was ready to take on Bollywood. While Deepika with her own admission has revealed that it was Salman Khan who offered her the first Bollywood movie, which she obviously rejected coz she wasn’t ready for films.

#The Big Bollywood Break

Farah Khan cast a new face opposite Shah Rukh Khan in her directorial debut film Om Shanti Om (2007) and Deepika found her dream debut. She did not have it easy though. The Deepika was being launched opposite SRK, but here she was not only trying to prove herself as a first time actress, but also fighting two other newcomers backed by Bollywood parivaars – Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. The box office fight was intense and Deepika and SRK emerged winners. Deepika beat Sonam and Ranbir to emerge as the most promising talent of the year.

#The Lull Phase

In 2009 the actress had two releases, while her film Chandni Chowk To China opposite Akshay Kumar tanked, Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal did well. She also worked in a Salman Khan and a Shah Rukh Khan film that year, but they were just guest appearances. 2010 and 2011 was the worst phase in the actress’ career. Despite having five releases that year the actress failed to make an impact. Not only did she get box office duds in her kitty (Lafangey Parindey, Kathik Calling Karthik), but films that fared relatively better like Housefull were trashed by the critics. The actress had to change her game and she did.

#Rise Of Deepika Padukone

Deepika was back again with Cocktail in 2012. Veronica was not a typical heroine and Deepika proved that she was awesome at playing the bad bad girl. Homi Adajania’s film reflected on the changing equation of love and relationships and Deepika’s act won her much appreciation and nomination too. That year the actress had just one release, but it was clear that Deepika wanted to stay in the game and she started picking projects that changed the game for her.

2013 was the golden period for Deepika. She had created a record that no other Khan, Kumar or Khanna had managed. The actress had gone beyond a hattrick and managed four Rs 100 crore films in her kitty – Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ramleela and Chennai Express. The actress also managed to add a variety to her kind of films by working in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali period drama Bajirao Mastani and Piku.

#Affairs and controversies

Deepika Padukone’s personal life was as much a hot topic of discussion as her career. The actress was linked to Sidharth Mallya very early on in her career. She was also linked to cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But it was Deepika’s relationship with Ranbir Kapoor and their subsequent breakup was the most talked about.

Today however, Deepika and her on and off screen hit pairing with Ranveer Singh is making headlines. Recently buzz was that Ranveer and Deepika were planning to formalise their relationship and even rumours of engagement emerged.

Deepika Padukone’s big fight with Times Of India on the cleavage controversy made the actress a poster girl for feminism. The actress took on the national daily and called out their sexist attitude. Of course she found support from her fraternity and fans on social media. The actress also went on to feature in a video titled My Choice, which got a mixed response.

#Beyond Bollywood

The actress has made it to Forbes Highest Paid Actress list recently has been honoured with various awards and has several big brands in her kitty. While awards and accolades have come her way, it was Deepika’s confession that she suffered from depression while on the peak of her career and the actress kickstarting the non-profit organisation Live Love Laugh that set her apart from her peers. For the first time a leading actor/actress had addressed the issue of mental health. The actress has ever since been actively working towards the cause.

# Hollywood Calling

Deepika Padukone was missing in action on the 70mm in 2016, but the actress is gearing up for her big Hollywood debut opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return Of Xander Cage. The film is all set to release on January 14. While Deepika is currently promoting her movie abroad and has a working birthday this year, we hear she plans to surprise her fans by bringing Vin Diesel to India for her film’s promotions.