- The Bollywood star's choice is “hardly a surprise,” as “mental health has become somewhat of a calling” for her.
Bollywood actress, producer and entrepreneur Deepika Padukone is among seven recipients of the inaugural TIME100 Impact Awards, “a recognition of leaders who, through sustained effort, have done extraordinary work to shape the future of their industries and the world at large.” The magazine says it chose Padukone for changing the narrative around mental health.
The Bollywood icon has acted in over two dozen films. She told TIME that her favorite films are “Piku” — “a sensitive but comedic portrayal of a father-daughter relationship that explores what happens when children become caretakers” and “Gehraiyaan” — “a story of unraveling, and of how intergenerational trauma and mental health complicates romantic relationships.”
According to the magazine, Padukone’s choice is “hardly a surprise,” as “mental health has become somewhat of a calling” for her. She first spoke openly in 2015 about wrestling with depression.“I had such a deep experience with mental illness,” she told TIME “Not talking about it felt dishonest.”
That year, she also launched the LiveLoveLaugh Foundation, which works to destigmatize mental health struggles and raise awareness. “Padukone’s advocacy work has helped her to find balance in her life—and a new definition of success. Where at first she strived to be the queen of Bollywood, now she prioritizes her own mental peace—working at her own pace, and on her own terms,” the magazine concluded.
She is currently filming with Shah Rukh Khan for her upcoming film “Pathaan,” and has “The Fighter” with Hrithik Roshan in the pipeline.
The awards were presented today, March 28, at the Museum of the Future in Dubai. Padukone chose a gorgeous embellished sari and accessorized her look with a traditional choker and stunning earrings. As soon as she arrived at the destination, she could be seen saying, “I am nervous, I don’t know why, I’ve written some stuff and I hope it’s meaningful. I just want to have fun.”