Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone drops into the offices of London's ES Magazine for a chat on how she became one of India's biggest assets, arriving with two bodyguards -- and for good reason. Styled by Nicky Yates, Padukone is lensed by Buzz White in 'Queen Deepika' for ES Magazine's June 29th issue./ Hair by Earl Simms; makeup by Gina Kane
As the female star of India's recent film 'Padmaavat', angry voices clamored for Padukone's death and disfigurement. A bounty was put on her head by a member of India's parliament, as riots threatened -- unsuccessfully -- to close down the film, which told the story of 14th Century Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji's attack on a kingdom after finding himself smitten by the beauty of its queen, Padmavati, who belonged to the Hindu Rajput caste.
There was NO scene in the film in which the Muslim king dreams of sexual intimacy with the Hindu queen, but Hindu groups rioted anyway, based on the false rumor.
Padukone loves London, saying it "feels like home." Admitting that she adores the royal family and long, brisk walks in the English countryside, the actor says she "had withdrawal symptoms" when the latest episodes of 'The Crown' ended. "I mean, we share so much history, so many cultural similarities. I might be outside of India, but still feel like I’m in a familiar space."
In her interview, Padukone talks about her own battle with depression, when news broke about the June 2018 suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. "When depression goes undetected, it makes you suicidal. I think I’ve been fortunate to have had it detected early on in my life so it didn’t get to that stage. But you can’t separate them from one another; it’s all in the same family."
Rumors are rampat that Deepika will marry actor Ranveer Singh, who co-starred with her in 'Padmaavat', this fall.