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Tried hard to make Furious 7 happen: Deepika Padukone

The Indian diva confesses that she was keen to do popular American action franchise, but some things weren’t meant to be.

Mayur Lookhar

She’s on cloud nine having made it to Hollywood with the xXx franchise. Deepika Padukone plays Serena Unger, a razor sharp huntress, in XXX: Return of the Xander Cage, where she’s matching shoulder with international stars like in Vin Diesel, Tony Jha.

The Bajirao Mastani actress recently spoke to noted TV journalist Rajeev Masand on the sets of film in Toronto, Canada. 

It must be recalled that Padukone was set to join Vin Diesel in the Furious 7 (2015). However, all that talk went up in smoke, and then one fine day it emerged that Padukone was picked for the other American action franchise xXx.

Commenting on it, Padukone said, “We (her team) tried real hard to make Furious 7 but it just didn’t happen. Now when I look back, I feel it just wasn’t meant to be.”

While Furious 7 remained an unfulfilled dream, the manner in which xXx: Return of the Xander Cage happened is quite a story in itself.

Talking about it, the Bajirao Mastani actress said, “I’d known Vin (Diesel) for four years. The director (DJ Caruso) had called me. He’d ask if I could meet Vin in Los Angeles.  We spoke briefly about xXx, and then all of a sudden he started clicking pictures.  Nothing was finalised, and I didn’t really get what he was doing. It was only when I went back to the hotel and I saw the pictures and the hundreds of messages, that I couldn’t stop smiling. I always that we were meant to work together.”

Interestingly, Padukone doesn’t rate xXx: Return of the Xander Cage as her ultimate action film. She credits Bajirao Mastani for helping her prepare for the American film. 

“Bajirao Mastani prepared me for this. Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali sets you for the greatest of challenges. I say Bajirao not just from the physical training but also from the emotional point of view. After doing Bajirao Mastani, I was ready to take up anything."

Save for few things, Padukone doesn’t find much difference between the working styles in Hindi cinema and Hollywood. 

“I won’t call it apprehension, but I was a bit nervous while flying. After landing here, there were many thoughts that came to mind. You think it is like starting all over again in an entirely new set up. There are new faces, a new system. However, after a week, I felt no difference in working styles here. Perhaps, when I become a producer then there would few things they do differently here than back home,” said Padukone.

Like Priyanka Chopra, people back home have been fearing that Padukone too would stay away from Hindi cinema for a long time. However, the lady allayed all those fears by taking up Padmavati. 

Commenting on this fear of Indian cinema losing her to Hollywood, the Padmavati actress said, “It was not in a bad way, but some directors did say that they were going to miss me, unsure whether I will comeback. I’m always reminded about this Mohammad Ali quote, ‘if you’re dreams don’t scare you at night, then they are big dream at all. I’ve never looked at the two (Hindi cinema and Hollywood) a two separate careers. 20 years down the line, you don’t want to have any regrets. Even if the film (xXx) doesn’t work then, at least I can’t say that I never tried.”

Serena Unger is defined as a razor sharp huntress. Though blushing, Padukone had this to say on her character, “Serena is a true bad ass. For very long, women were used to being rescued in action films. Serena is a representation of today’s woman. Though strong and sharp, she’s equally fragile and fun. Just because a woman s strong, it doesn’t mean that she loses out on her other qualities.”

Though it’s a dream come true, the actor doesn’t need to pinch herself. “It’s not that this opportunity fell into my lap. I would have pinched my self if I wanted to do something, but then this opportunity turned up. I’ve worked hard to achieve all this. I’m not someone who likes to talk too much about the journey. I’m not one to harp on what the difficulties have been. Everyone faces a new challenge every day, it’s how you deal with it, how you move forward,” Padukone signed off.