Astha Rajvanshi in Time:
Deepika Padukone never set out to take India to the world. She wanted the world to come to India. As the most popular actress in the world’s most populous country, she’s often asked if she’s going to move to Hollywood. “My mission has always been to make a global impact while still being rooted in my country,” she says on her home turf in Mumbai one humid morning in April, while on a break from shooting India’s first aerial-action film, Fighter. It’s fitting that Padukone’s photo shoot for this story is happening inside Mehboob Studios, home to some of the most legendary movies made in Hindi-language cinema, from the seminal Oscar-nominated Mother India in 1957 to Padukone’s own Chennai Express in 2013.
The 37-year-old is now a legend in her own right. She has appeared in more than 30 films, won numerous awards, and generated nearly $350 million in global box-office revenues. Today, she is the highest-paid actress in India. Among her legions of fans and nearly 74 million followers on Instagram, Padukone is fondly called the Queen of Bollywood.