Actor Deepika Padukone is known for her incredible performances on-screen, her bold choices of films and her fierce frankness when it comes to speaking up for the right causes. Having shown the world her spectacular acting skills in movies like Piku, Chhapaak, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, she has also won our hearts with her fearless voice over the years. 

Here are 8 times Deepika set an example for women and celebs in the industry to stand up against the wrongs.

1. When she stood with the students of JNU in solidarity.

The actor grabbed eyeballs when she turned up at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus as a show of solidarity in 2020 during the CAA-NRC protest, when various college campuses were attacked. 

Standing there quietly with folded hands, she spoke louder than her peers. While some people trolled her, considering it a publicity stunt, others came out in support of her, saying that she risked her career with her act. 

The Economic Times

2. When she pointed out media’s obsession with cleavage and women’s breasts. 

Back in 2015, when a leading national daily did a full-fledged article titled “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show”, Deepika slammed back with a tweet and pointed out the yellow journalism of a supposed “leading” newspaper. Seriously, when will this obsession end is a question equally appalling. 

YES!I am a Woman.I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??

-Deepika Padukone

3. When she shut down casual sexism. 

During a promotional event in 2020, when a reporter asked her that if her husband Ranveer Singh had invested in the production of the film Chhapaak, she immediately shot back at him and said, “Excuse me, it is my money!” The incident shed light oon the casual sexism prevalent in our society, where it is assumed that women can’t be financially independent. And Deepika can’t produce a film on her own. God save us!

4. When she didn’t shy away from talking about depression and mental health issues.

Deepika spoke about her battle with depression with WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at an event. She elaborated on how her condition deteriorated at the time when she was on a professional high and had a successful career and personal life. Deepika started a dialogue around mental health when she started The Live Love Laugh Foundation. 

Considering the status she enjoyed as an A-list star, her open admission further helped destigmatize mental health issues and open a much-needed conversation on mental health.

Mental illness happened to me when I had least expected it. In my case it came with no warning signs.

-Deepika Padukone

5. When she spoke about the importance of me-time for women.

The actor believes that women should take time off their duties and responsibilities every once in a while and focus on themselves and their well being. Instead of always trying to be the perfect and ideal woman, they should think about their mental, physical and emotional health. 

I think women have a tendency of feeling a lot of guilt when they are playing different roles. They are always trying to be perfect. I feel it’s important to take out time for yourself and do that without guilt.

-Deepika Padukone

6. When she talked about the unequal treatment of crew members on board of a film’s shooting. 

Deepika pointed out in a recent interview that work-life balance is mandatory for everyone, and also said that crew members deserve extra money for extended hours. She even said that nutritious food should be served to all, as nothing as ‘A-catering and B-catering’ should exist. 

7. When she stood her ground when it came to her projects. 

Be it shooting a difficult role of an acid attack survivor and bring out the trauma of the person on-screen in Chhapaak, or the threats of her nose being chopped off for Padmaavat following the so-called hurt religious sentiments of people, she has managed to keep her head high amid controversies. 

Following her appearance at the JNU campus, right-wing trolls started calling her out and asking the ban of her film Chhapaak. Moreover, her films like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani and Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela stirred up controversies. But the actor stood unflinching in the face of all this shit.

8. When she opened up about the gender pay gap in the industry.

The actor has talked about the blatant gender pay gap in the film industry and how it’s the most unfair thing. She has spoken about it on several occasions. 

I know my track record and what I am worth. I don’t think I’ll be able to live with the thought knowing that I have been a part of a film, had the same creative contribution or bringing the same value to the film, but being underpaid. 

-Deepika Padukone

9. When she gave a fitting reply to the trolls who dissed her for doing her job.

Deepika was repeatedly questioned by the public if she had the “permission” of her husband Ranveer Singh to shoot intimate scenes in the film Gehraiyaan. The actor, in her iconic sassy style, shut down the comments and said:

It’s stupid that we’re even reacting to it. I think, for us, that’s the most important thing. I don’t read comments. I’m pretty certain even he doesn’t. And, I think. Yuck! It just feels so stupid. 

-Deepika Padukone

Way to go, queen!