Deepika Padukone, who has collaborated with Sanjay Leela Bhansali on several movies, wrote a touching tribute to him as he celebrated his 25th year in Bollywood. She reflected on how she felt she “would never be good enough” to be his muse.
Taking to Instagram Stories, Deepika wrote, “9th November 2007. My debut film Om Shanti Om was pitted against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya. And as grateful as I was (And I still am…I cannot think of another female actor who has been launched in the same manner as I was), I also remember thinking to myself at the time, that I would never be good enough…to be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali muse.”
Deepika stated she was really ill when her team informed her that Sanjay wanted to discuss a film with her when they first met in 2012. “Fast forward to 2012. I was extremely unwell and laid up in bed. I received a call from my management saying ‘Sanjay Leela Bhansali wants to meet you.’ I said, ‘What?!’. They said, ‘Yes! He is doing a film and would really like to meet you.’ ‘I would do cartwheels to go and see him right away, but I can’t get out of bed right now!’ I said. The next thing I know, he was on his way to see me!” she wrote.
“What ensued in the years that followed was nothing short of an ‘iconic partnership’ I believe. And together we’ve created ‘iconic characters’. Characters that have been etched in the minds and hearts of people forever!”
“What I cherish even more though, is the influence our collaboration has had on me personally. I say this without a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it wasn’t for Sanjay Leela Bhansali!” she wrote, adding, “As he embarks on the next phase of this most incredible journey, I look forward to creating many more memorable and iconic characters together, but more importantly, I wish him good health, peace of mind, and happiness…always!,” she concluded.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela was Sanjay and Deepika’s debut collaboration in 2013. They collaborated in Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat as well.