The first confirmation that Deepika Padukone was going to be in the Vin Diesel starrer XXX: Return of Xander Cage came from a wink-wink tweet posted on Padukone’s Twitter page in December 2015.
Was Padukone embarking on a new movie or a new relationship? The image came back to haunt Padukone on her first ever appearance on The Ellen Show, hosted by the highly influential Ellen DeGeneres. XXX: Return of Xander Cage was released in India on January 14 to a decent response, and it will open in America on January 20. Padukone plays a secret agent named Serene Unger in the action thriller.
When asked whether there was anything to rumours of an affair between Padukone and Diesel – who has three children with his girlfriend Paloma Jimenez – our Bollywood heroine blushed and lapsed into teenage fan mode, as though on Koffee With Karan. “There’s no smoke without fire,” she coyly said, before helpfully adding that “it’s all in my head”. Apparently, she fantasises about living with Diesel and having his babies.
DeGeneres’s response was apt and will be shared by many embarrassed Indians: “Now you’ve become crazy.”
Padukone kept her accent on the show – BMKJ Indians will love her for it – but she could barely match Priyanka Chopra’s poise and confidence. Chopra put on her Stateside accent for DeGeneres but behaved as though she had been matching wits with talk show hosts her entire life. Padukone appeared a bit nervous and air-headed, while Chopra gave off a superbly rehearsed and sophisticated vibe. Note to Padukone’s handlers: when in Hollywood, don’t do as in Bollywood.