Reports have been doing the rounds of the industry that Deepika Padukone has lost her leading role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming film Baiju Bawra for demanding equal remuneration as that of her husband Ranveer Singh, who has been roped in to play the titular character on screen. Amid the speculations, Deepika has penned a heartfelt note for Bhansali on completing glorious 25 years in the industry.
She began her note by talking about how she made her Bollywood debut with Om Shanti Om which clashed with Bhansali's Saawariya at the box office. Having worked with Bhansali in films like Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, Deepika said that she had thought she would never be good enough to become a Sanjay Leela Bhansali muse.
"9th November 2007. My debut film Om Shanti Om was pitted against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya. And as grateful as I was (And I still am...I cannot think of another female actor who has been launched in the same manner as I was), I also remember thinking to myself at the time, that I would never be good enough...to be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali muse," Deepika wrote on Instagram.
She recalled how Bhansali came to meet her and offered her a role while she was bed-ridden. "Fast forward to 2012. I was extremely unwell and laid up in bed. I received a call from my management saying "Sanjay Leela Bhansali wants to meet you". I said, "What?!". They said, "Yes! He is doing a film and would really like to meet you". "I would do cartwheels to go and see him right away, but I can't get out of bed right now!" I said. The next thing I know, he was on his way to see me!"
Talking about her collaboration over the past few years, Deepika added, "What ensued in the years that followed was nothing short of an 'iconic partnership' I believe. And together we've created 'iconic characters'. Characters that have been etched in the minds and hearts of people forever!
"What I cherish even more though, is the influence our collaboration has had on me personally. I say this without a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't be half the person I am today if it wasn't for Sanjay Leela Bhansali!
"As he embarks on the next phase of this most incredible journey, I look forward to creating many more memorable and iconic characters together, but more importantly, I wish him good health, peace of mind, and happiness...always!"
On the work front, Deepika will be next seen in Kabir Khan's 83 alongside Ranveer as Kapil Dev, Siddharth Anand's directorial Fighter opposite Hrithik Roshan, YRF's Pathan with Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham, Nag Ashwin’s next with Prabhas, the Hindi remake of the Hollywood movie The Intern alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Shakun Batra’s next untitled project also starring Ananya Panday and Siddhant Chaturvedi and in the retelling of Mahabharata from Draupadi's view point.
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