Deepika Padukone DEFIANT: xXx star on new film 'They thought I'd be HORRIFIED or scared'

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The Bollywood star is regularly voted one of the most beautiful women in the world. She famously loves to make bold, eye-catching and headline-grabbing fashion choices on the red carpet, especially at Cannes every year. She is currently in London filming her latest project ’83 with her husband, Ranveer Singh. But she is no typical Bollywood beauty. Still most famous over here for starring in the xXx franchise with Vin Diesel, Deepika has given a revealing interview to the British press about her life, career and brave decision not to play by the industry rules at home or in Hollywood. Her next release is perhaps her bravest yet.

Deepika spoke to NET-A-PORTER in-house magazine PorterEdit about her belief that more Bollywood stars should use their position to bring social change. She has slammed certain Bollywood stars for the selfish pursuit of only their own interests while facing attacks for going public with her own struggle with depression. 

In a similar vein, the actress revealed her pride in the hard-hitting movie Chhapaak which hits cinemas early next year.

For the first time, the star will be unrecognisable on screen and she embraced the experience of playing someone disfigured by a brutal acid attack. 

She said: “I felt like myself. It made me realize how you look externally is such a small, irrelevant part of what you are. I think people would expect me to be horrified. Or emotional. Or scared. But I was at complete ease with the way I was, with the way I looked and felt.”

Deepika is playing real-life survivor Laxmi Agarwal who has become the public figurehead for the campaign to raise awareness around the issue and to lobby for tighter control and bans on the sale of acids.

Agarwal was attacked when she was just 15. Naem Khan, a 32-year-old man whose advances she had resisted, had “stalked” her for ten months. With the help of another young woman he attacked her, pushed her to the ground and hurled acid in her face on a public street.

She was hospitalised for three months, underwent numerous surgeries and confronted a society, much of which still views a woman as a commodity. Agarwal publicly revealed she had heard people tell her family they should have given her a lethal injection after the attack because she was now worthless.

Instead, the teenager fought to see her attacker jailed for ten years and took the issue of acid sale and attacks to India’s supreme courts.

Deepika not only stars in the film, she also produced it.

Her career was built on the traditional Bollywood path of lavish historical epics and romantic drama, but she told PorterEdit she boldly decided to redefine her place in the industry.

She said: “I was trying to be someone I was not, trying to fit the model of being an Indian film actor, being a certain way, wearing certain clothes. When I decided to shed all that is when everything started falling into place.”

To see the full interview, read PorterEdit at www.net-a-porter.com or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

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