Deepika Padukone: India’s highest-paid actress makes each rupee count


When Forbes magazine released a list of the world’s highest paid actresses in August, Deepika Padukone was the only Indian to feature in it. Forbes said she earned $10 million (around Rs68 crore) between 1 June 2015 and 1 June 2016, before management fees and taxes. Padukone pushes the envelope each time with every unconventional role she plays—material girl Veronica in Cocktail, risk-taker Aaliya in Break Ke Baad, Angie, the widow in Finding Fanny, headstrong architect Meera in Love Aaj Kal, and Mastani, the second wife, in Bajirao Mastani. But when it comes to managing her money, she’s very cautious.

“We, as a family, are extremely conservative when it comes to money. I come from a middle-class family, plus I am a south Indian. Every rupee is accounted for,” she says, adding that this has been the case since her school days. “When we (she and her sister) were in school, we never got pocket money as and when we pleased. We literally had to earn it. We had to do something amazing to even get simple things like, say, a raw mango that then cost Re1 or Rs2 outside the school. That way, we had a very conservative upbringing and that holds true even today.”

Money lessons

Being disciplined: Padukone is reputed to be a thorough professional and a disciplined person, thanks perhaps to her sports background. That discipline, she says, is reflected in her management of money too. “It stems from being an athlete. From the time you are five-six years old, you are building that in a different capacity. For instance, I used to wake up on time, reach the ground on time, do 40 rounds of the track, then your coach is there, making sure you complete the hurdles, lifting your weights correctly, running back home and getting ready for school. As an athlete, your life then becomes very structured. And it is not something you realized at that point. But in my case, when I branched out in a different profession, I realized how much of that background or upbringing I use in my life today. From the simplest things like my diet and sleep, to the financial aspect as well.”

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