Deepika Padukone on coronavirus lockdown: We understand the seriousness of the situation
While some celebrities have been chastised for the social media content they've been putting out during the coronavirus pandemic, Deepika Padukone opened up about her Instagram posts during this time. "I think first of all people need to stop thinking of actors as dumb people... I'd say the majority of us are pretty smart and pretty intelligent," she said in a new video interview. Watch it here.
While we remain under a lockdown, on Sunday the country came together for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's #9pm9minutes initiative in the fight against COVID-19. Many people across India turned off their lights and lit diyas and candles at home, with some even flashing their mobile phones, as a sign of solidarity in these trying times. Among the many to join in were some of Bollywood's favourite celebrities including Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. The two, who got married in 2018, took to their Instagram pages to share a shot of them as they stood in the balcony of their Mumbai apartment.
On Monday, Deepika Padukone, a big proponent of staying connected with her followers during the coronavirus lockdown, joined film critic Anupama Chopra in an interview from her home, sharing tidbits about her life in lockdown, and her thoughts about the film industry’s future. The Chhapaak star also opened up about her social media content during the lockdown. While some international celebrities have been chastised for the content they've been putting out during this time — Hollywood actress Gal Gadot’s attempt to cheer up her followers with a celeb-studded cover of singer John Lennon’s song, Imagine, backfired after social media users branded it "out of touch," and wondered why they couldn’t send money instead — Padukone is headstrong about her choices.
"I think first of all people need to stop thinking of actors as dumb people. You know, there's this thing that it's all about vanity, and this sort of life. I'd say the majority of us are pretty smart and pretty intelligent. And I think we know what is happening, we understand the seriousness of the situation. We are doing everything in our capacity to stay indoors, to be careful with social distancing, being responsible towards our nation in terms of what we can give back to the have-nots," Deepika Padukone shared. "Plus, there are people who live with mental health on a daily basis, so they're probably looking for content that helps them get their mind off everything that's going on in the world," Padukone told Anupama Chopra.
Deepika Padukone's cooking, cleaning, and organising sessions during the coronavirus lockdown have been well-documented in her social media accounts, and she's been enjoying the process. "It's given me time to reconnect with my home. The last couple of years were so busy, and you're out all the time. People make fun — oh she's labelling her groceries. But I cooked a Thai meal yesterday, and it was easy because I knew where everything was," she said. Padukone expressed gratitude for her life as a successful Bollywood star while reminiscing about her initial days in Mumbai before she made it big. "A lot of people feel like that is the life I’ve always lived, but I worked to get to where I am. I started off living in a rented apartment in Bombay, I lived alone. You didn't have the home delivery as easy as it is today. There were days I would order in food, I didn't know how to cook, so I'd come back late at night and eat cold food — eat half an idli that was left — cleaned the house, did laundry. So, this is easy for me," she shared.
In the interview, Deepika Padukone also explained the importance of speaking about mental health right now. The actress, who has always been forthcoming about her experience with depression, shared that her mental health struggles actually informed her approach to the uncertainty and stress of COVID-19. "Post mental illness, I feel like I was on this journey already, of understanding life beyond materialism, and wanting to grow and evolve as a person. I feel like that journey for me already began in 2014, so I am not finding this period difficult at all. In fact, there is a lot of introspection and self-realisation that I am enjoying. I seem to be at peace about what is coming our way," she said. But she noted that conversations about mental health are few and far between. "I feel like it's one of those things that has been underrepresented, there is not enough focus on mental health in a crisis," she said.
To be able to play a small part in a film that captures one of the most iconic moments in sporting history has been an absolute honour. Ive seen very closely the role a wife plays in the success of her husband’s professional and personal aspirations in my mother and 83 for me in many ways is an ode to every woman who puts her husband’s dream before her own...#thisis83 @kabirkhankk @ranveersingh @_kaproductions @reliance.entertainment @fuhsephantom @nadiadwalagrandson @vibrimedia @83thefilm
While she's been taking a positive approach to her life during the lockdown, Deepika Padukone also spoke about sticking with the same thought process as she and her actor-husband Ranveer Singh dealt with the postponement of their upcoming film release, '83. "I don't think professionally there was any concern. It's not like '83 is the only movie that gets affected. You feel like, it's okay. We're all in this together. Whether it is production getting delayed, or films taking a beating, or releases getting pushed. We'll all have to deal with it together when we get out of this,” she shared. Padukone also described that personal issues, like that of keeping herself and her family safe, were at the top of her mind instead. "At a personal level, I don't think I was thinking of that at all. I was thinking that there were other decisions to be made, like will my parents be okay? Do I need to bring them in here? Should we be going there? Do we need to do this lockdown together as a family?"
But still, Deepika Padukone is worried about the state of the Indian film industry, especially because the situation does not have a blueprint. "What we're going through has never happened, so there's no way of saying, when we come out of this, this is how it'll pan out. Ranveer's grandfather, who is ninety or ninety-plus, has never experienced something like this. He has been a part of the partition and fought in wars, but even he says, this is unprecedented," she shared. "I'm thinking of the millions of rupees that are potentially lost. Anyway, the filmmaking business is not really a lucrative business, most people do it because they're passionate about telling a story," she added.