People of 2020: Deepika Padukone 'The Queen of Hearts'

Kaveree Bamzai

Deepika Padukone, 34 
Actor; Founder, Live Laugh Love Foundation

She was silent as she stood by Aishe Ghosh, the JNU student leader who was injured in the protests against a hostel fee hike. She was trolled. She put her heart and soul into the story of an acid attack survivor in Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak. Few turned up to watch in theatres. She took the conversation around mental health into the public domain with an open-hearted chat via her Live Laugh Love Foundation.

She was attacked by co-star Kangana Ranaut for exploiting the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. She was interrogated by the Narcotics Control Bureau for a WhatsApp chat that suggested she was asking for drugs. She was pilloried in particular newsrooms. But she kept her grace and gravitas, ending the year as she began with her work speaking for her.

As she wrapped up a film in Goa for Dharma Productions, she got ready to play her part in an action adventure, Pathan, with Shah Rukh Khan. Plus she was working on a beloved project for streaming, where she would be Draupadi. Clearly, talent and empathy are a powerful combination in defeating negativity.

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