New Delhi: Deepika Padukone has not (yet) starred in a 100 crore film in 2015 but she's had a blockbuster year nevertheless, making headlines for several reasons, her ascension proving that worth may be measured in plentiful ways.
In January, the 29-year-old actress went public with her battle against depression, a subject that would normally be considered taboo not just in the unforgiving world of showbiz but also beyond. In a poignant first person interview with Hindustan Times, spoke about waking up one day in 2014 "feeling different."
"Every morning, it was a struggle to wake up, and shoot for Happy New Year's climax... Most of HNY was shot through this phase. But before starting my next with Shoojit Sircar, I took a two-month break to recover mentally and physically. I spent time with my family in Bengaluru and was soon better. But, when I returned to Mumbai, I heard about a friend committing suicide due to anxiety and depression. It was a huge blow," she said. (Also Read - It's Important to Know There's Hope: Deepika on Fighting Depression)
In March, she told NDTV that she felt 'empty and directionless' and didn't know how to cope. Luckily for her, Deepika's mother helped her identify that there was more to it than just a case of the blues and get medical treatment. Now, Deepika runs a mental health foundation called Live Love Laugh. (Watch: Deepika Padukone on Her Battle With Depression)
Deepika shone on-screen as well. In Piku, she delivered a scene-stealing performance opposite Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan, casting that might have intimidated the best of Bollywood. Piku was the year's first real hit and left Deepika basking in the afterglow of rave reviews. Later in the year came Tamasha with Ranbir Kapoor - a semi-hit. Again, critics singled her performance as the free-spirited Tara out for particular praise.
She's not done yet. Deepika's third film this year, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Bajirao Mastani, is expected to close 2015 with a bang, if nothing else with the sparks from its clash at the box office with Rohit Shetty's Dilwale which stars Deepika's Chennai Express hero Shah Rukh Khan.
Along the way, Deepika's otherwise stupendous year hurdled over two controversies - the Homi Adajania-directed My Choice video which appeared to equate extra-marital sex with empowerment and an apparent feud (possibly media manufactured) with actress Kangana Ranaut. After being roundly slammed for the video, Deepika hastened to clarify that she was not advocating infidelity in any way. On the subject of Kangana, she has maintained a dignified silence so far.
Her best is possibly yet to come and fairly soon. Deepika, who is rumoured to be dating Bajirao co-star Ranveer Singh, has no films officially lined up for next year. However, this tweet recently posted by the actress has provoked nationwide curiosity and excitement - it shows Deepika with Hollywood star Vin Diesel, the backdrop emblazoned with 'xXx':
Has Deepika been cast in the third xXx movie then? With her usual reticence, she told NDTV "Time will tell, you'll know soon" (Also Read: We Asked Deepika Padukone About The Pic With Vin Diesel. She Said... )
She also told us that she has had a great year both professionally and personally. "I couldn't ask for more," she said. We can't help but agree.