Mumbai: Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone is on a roll. And, we are not just talking about her burgeoning trophy cabinet. When it comes to laying on the charm, she dishes it out as good as Shah Rukh Khan – Bollywood’s notorious showman. As she walked the red carpet rolled out for Zee Cine Awards at Filmcity in Mumbai on Saturday, Padukone who has been nominated three times in the Best Actor (Female) category for her role in Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, had the local and international media eating out of her hand. Just like her shimmering Naeem Khan ivory gown, she shone as she fielded all sorts of questions ranging from her fashion to films.
“You are doing all these stories that I am dressing like other Hollywood stars. So forget it, I am not going to speak about my style,” said Padukone, feigning anger. Earlier in the day, news articles taht implied her recent red carpet style was “inspired/copied” by Hollywood stars were doing the rounds.
“I have always been styled by Anaita Shroff. Today, we chose an ethereal look.” While the response got her appreciative whistles from the media pen, she asked: “So where’s my chocolate?’
“I hope I win, I have been nominated for three of my four films. But winning is not something you plan. I am ever ready to receive awards and my sister keeps asking me to keep my speech ready. But I don’t anticipate or expect awards. Having said that it’s been a phenomenal year for me and I am enjoying this moment,” said Padukone, throwing a smile at Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani director Ayaan Mukherjee. While Padukone is rumoured to be dating her Ram-Leela co-star Ranveer Singh, she chose to walk in with director Mukherjee.
So what’s her Valentine’s Day plan? “Why don’t you be my valentine?” she said suggestively to a male journalist who had posed the question, then claimed she will spend that day on brand endorsement duty. While Padukone was optimistic about her chances at winning, director Mukherjee who was convinced that he would not win.
“It is nice to be nominated and I realise that every film cannot take home best film or best director. But every year there’s one film that captures the awards imagination and this year that film is Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. I have come tonight because I don’t want to come across like an arrogant filmmaker who’s not showing up despite being nominated,” said Mukherjee. While you have to give him full marks for his candid response, there was Priyanka Chopra who was at her diplomatic best.
“Tonight I felt like being a desi girl,” said Chopra, who dressed in a glittering sari by Jade by Monica & Karishma.
“I was told I was nominated for International Icon Of The Year award. It is always lovely to receive awards but what would be special is if I win this award. My international career in music is just one year and there’s long journey ahead of me. But it’s encouraging to be nominated,” said Chopra. When asked about her plans to premiere Gunday in Dubai this Wednesday, she said: “Dubai is lucky for me. All my movies which have premiered there have always done well. So guys, spend Valentine’s Day with me,” said Chopra about her next release. Chopra wasn’t alone in going traditional. Shuddh Desi Romance star Vaani Kapoor chose a black and white Varun Bahl sari. While she loved saris, she felt the drapes would shield her fractured leg (an injury caused by ‘clumsy me at the gym’).
Speaking of legs, actor Farhan Akhtar, who looked sharp in a suit, joked that since Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s success, he’s tempted to wear running shoes to every event. While Akhtar kept it jovial, his parents Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi wore their pride on their sleeves. Akhtar’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is nominated in several categories including Best Actor and Best Film.
“Farhan was so wonderful. He raised the bar for what actors should aspire to do, particularly in a biopic. One can get so carried away by the physical reality of the role that they will miss the soul but in Farhan’s case, it was as if he is actually absorbed the character by the process of osmosis,” said Azmi, his stepmother. While most nominees unflinchingly declared ‘may the best man win’, it was endearing to see Bhaag Milkha Bhaag director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and YJHD director Mukherji announce: ‘I just hope I win.” More power to them.
The fun bits from the red carpet:
Proud daddy alert: Actor Fardeen Khan tells tabloid! that he’s loving playing daddy to his seven-month-old daughter who’s now in London. “I have changed four nappies already.”
Crush alert: “My first Bollywood crush was Akshay Kumar because he looked so macho.” — Vaani Kapoor
Girlfriend speak? “I am looking forward to Ranveer’s [Singh] performance tonight.” — Deepika Padukone
Confession of the night: “My friends are out partying and there are some great DJs performing. I hope I can make it to their party. I wish I was there.” — Ayaan Mukherjee
Clutch alert: “I am carrying a Judith Leiber clutch because it reminds me of the ‘80s disco ball. I could get kidnapped this evening by carrying something like this,” Amrita Rao.