Deepika Padukone in the media
The journalist Vir Sanghvi, in 2013, described Padukone as “strong, someone who makes up her own mind, (and) has motivation within herself.” She is particularly known in the media as a professional, disciplined performer, whose “work takes precedence over everything else.” A reviewer for Rediff.com described her personality as “simple,” “grounded,” and “accessible,” and wrote, “She takes criticism in her stride, acknowledges her limitations and strives to work hard at getting better. She handles praise with equal composure.” Ayan Mukerji (the director of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) considers her to be “a woman who will flirt with you but you will love to take her home to meet your mom as well.” Padukone has maintained a Twitter account since 2010, and launched an official Facebook page in 2013. She is the most followed Asian woman on Twitter.
Padukone is considered among the most popular and high-profile celebrities in India. Analysing her career, Reuters published that after making a successful debut with Om Shanti Om, she featured in a series of films for which critics labelled her as “wooden” and “mocked her accent.” The Indian Express added, “Not too long ago after a few unwise script calls and the public blow up of her high profile relationship with Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika was written off. Credit to her much touted professionalism, dedication, discipline and perseverance that she bounced back.” Following the success of Cocktail, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Chennai Express, several media publications began crediting her as the most successful contemporary actress in India. India Today featured her among the nation’s 50 most powerful people in 2017 and 2019. The global edition of Forbes ranked her as the tenth highest-paid actress in the world in 2016 and in 2018, the magazine ranked her as the highest-earning woman celebrity in India. From 2014 to 2016 and in 2018, she was the highest ranked woman on the Indian edition of Forbes’ “Celebrity 100” list, peaking at the fourth position in 2018 with an estimated annual earning of over ₹1.12 billion (US$16 million). Also in 2018, Time magazine named Padukone one of the 100 most influential people in the world; Variety magazine featured her in their list of the 50 most impactful women in the world, and the market research firm YouGov named her the world’s thirteenth most admired woman.
The actress ranks high on various listings of the most attractive Indian celebrities. In 2008, she topped Indian Maxim’s “Hot 100” list, and in 2012, she was named “India’s Most Beautiful Woman” by the Indian edition of People magazine. Padukone has frequently featured in The Times of India’s listing of the “Most Desirable Woman”, topping the list in 2012 and 2013. In 2010 and 2014, she was named the “World’s Sexiest Woman” by the Indian edition of FHM. and she was selected by the UK magazine Eastern Eye as the “Sexiest Asian Woman” in 2016 and 2018. Taking note of her dress sense, Filmfare credited her as one of the “few actresses who experiments with colours, cuts and silhouettes.” In the fitness book The Four-Week Countdown Diet, the actress was cited by Namita Jain as “the ultimate role model for a healthy, fit and active lifestyle.”
Padukone is an active endorser for several brands and products, including Tissot, Maybelline, Coca-Cola, and L’Oreal Paris, among others. In 2014, Business Standard reported that Padukone earned ₹50 million (US$700,000) to ₹60 million (US$840,000) per endorsement deal and TAM AdEX named Padukone the most visible face on television in India that year. Duff & Phelps estimated her brand value to be US$102.5 million, in 2018, the second highest of Indian celebrities. In 2020, she became the first Indian actor to campaign for the fashion company Louis Vuitton. In the same year, Padukone was criticised for a Tik Tok video aimed towards the promotion of her film Chhapaak, in which she asked users to recreate her “acid-attack survivor look” from the film which was deemed “insensitive” and “disrespectful” to acid-attack victims. Later that year, Padukone was among several Bollywood actors who were called out for posting Instagram messages showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, despite their previous work advertising skin-lightening products which perpetuate colourism.