Shah Rukh Khan to Ranbir Kapoor: Deepika Padukone’s 5 best on-screen pairings
Since her big Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan with Farah Khan’s 2007 film Om Shanti Om, Deepika Padukone has swept us off our feet with her ethereal beauty and on-screen chemistry with her co-stars. From Ranbir Kapoor to Siddhant Chaturvedi, the actress effortlessly clicked with her on-screen partners and made their romance believable. On Deepika’s 37th birthday, we take a look at five of her best on-screen pairings.
Owing to their real-life fleeting romance and off-screen bond, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s chemistry is set in stone. The two paired up for the first time in Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) and continued with their on-screen chemistry for Ayan Mukerji’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha (2015). The magic of Ranbir and Deepika shines through in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani as Ranbir plays the explorer Bunny while Deepika is the shy and naive Naina, who slowly but surely falls for Bunny’s antics. Tamasha also showed both the actors at their best, showing a tale of love woven together by Imtiaz Ali and his love for tragic love stories.
Shah Rukh Khan
Deepika Padukone made her big Bollywood debut in 2007 with Farah Khan’s romcom Om Shanti Om opposite a ripped Shah Rukh Khan. Since then, Deepika and Shah Rukh’s pairing has been a fan-favourite with the two coming together again in 2013 for Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express. While Deepika won hearts with her South Indian Meenamma, it was with the 2014 Farah Khan directorial Happy New Year that set screens on fire with their ravishing chemistry. The two are set to make their fourth on-screen appearance again in the upcoming Siddharth Anand action thriller Pathaan, releasing on January 25.
Even though the on-screen pairing of Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan could only grace us once in Piku (2015), their bickering chemistry and shared glances won us over. The Shoojit Sircar-directed film starred Deepika as a head-strong independent Piku opposite a carefree Rana (Irrfan) as the two travel to Kolkata with Piku’s constipation-ridden father Bashkor Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan). Piku and Rana’s highly different take on life and their unusual way of flirting while fighting with each other led to possibly the most unlikely-yet-perfect on-screen pair.
Ranveer Singh and Deepika shared palpable chemistry at the first go, something that could be easily seen in their first on-screen pairing in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela (2013). The tragic romance, inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, wasn't the end of their sizzling chemistry as the Bhansali favourites were seen again in Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018). While Bajirao Mastani saw the two pair up in yet another take of star crossed lovers, Padmaavat saw Deepika and Ranveer at war with each other. Their first film after their wedding was marked with Kabir Khan's 83 (2021) which saw Deepika as the wife to Ranveer's Kapil Dev.
Saif Ali Khan
One of Deepika’s earliest heroes after Shah Rukh Khan was Saif Ali Khan. Their first on-screen pairing started with Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal (2009), which came at a crucial time in Deepika’s career as a rising star. The two got together again for Prakash Jha’s political drama Aarakshan (2011). In complete contrast to her character in Aarakshan, Deepika was paired up with Saif for the third time in sleeper hit Cocktail, where the two found themselves in the middle of a love triangle. Deepika’s rebellious Veronica and Saif’s suave Gautam showed their best on-screen chemistry yet. Race 2 (2013) came with Deepika and Saif being paired up for the fourth time. Even though the Mustan Burmawalla and Abbas Burmawalla action thriller had an ensemble cast, Deepika and Saif’s pairing stood out.
Some of Deepika’s other memorable on-screen pairings include Siddhant Chaturvedi in Gehraiyaan (2022), Vikrant Massey in Chhapaak (2020), Farhan Akhtar in Karthik Calling Karthik (2010) and Akshay Kumar in Chandni Chowk to China (2009).