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Deepika Padukone only Indian actress to be named in Variety's International Women's Impact 2018 report


The actress was joined by producer Guneet Monga, alongside Dame Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Lupita Nyong'O, and editor Agnes Varda. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

Actress Deepika Padukone might have had a rough start to the year with Padmaavat (2018), but it has ensured the actress has received attention across the globe. Variety magazine's International Women's Impact Report 2018 named the 32-year-old actress as the only Indian actress on the list. Although, Padukone is not the only Indian therein. Sikhya Entertainment's Guneet Monga was also marked out on a list that included Dame Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, director-editor Agnes Varda, producer Barbara Broccoli and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o. 

In the introduction to Padukone, Variety wrote: "The star of the recent Bollywood blockbuster Padmaavat faced death threats and verbal abuse from various fringe groups with poise and elan. Padukone, whose father, Prakash, was a star badminton player, used to participate in the sport before becoming a model. She is now one of the highest-paid Indian actresses and has made the leap from Bollywood movies such as Om Shanti Om and Chennai Express to Hollywood titles including xXx: Return of Xander Cage last year. She is also philanthropically active, starting her own Live Laugh Love Foundation, which focuses on mental illness."

Padukone's strong stand against the backlash faced by Padmaavat, as well as her positions to help spread awareness about depression and mental illness in India has only improved her stature on the international stage. The actress also made her international debut last year in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (2017) alongside Vin Diesel. 

In addition to Padukone, producer Monga, found herself on the list which also includes Bond producer, Barbara Broccoli. Monga was praised by the magazine which said: "While female Indian producers are rare, Monga says she actually enjoys people saying no; she just keeps finding creative ways to bring stories to life. 'You have to see it through till the end and be inspired about it,' says the head of Sikhya Entertainment. Besides Hindi-language films such as The Lunchbox, she produced The Ashram, starring Melissa Leo and Kal Penn, which premiered this week. 'There have been several times where I have not been taken seriously and have had to work twice as hard just because I am a young woman, but I have never let that affect my state of mind towards the end goal of putting together the stories we need to tell'."

Incidentally, the list has not included Priyanka Chopra who has been in the news for her various collaborations as a UN goodwill ambassador, as well as being one of the recognised Indian faces in Hollywood. 

Among others, the list included Oscar winners Lupita Nyong'O, Helen Mirren, Dame Judi Dench, author JK Rowling, actresses Daisy Ridley and Emma Watson, as well as a leading name of the French New Wave, Agnes Varda.