Deepika Padukone is the only Indian actress to feature in TIME’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ list, sharing space with names like Nicole Kidman, Gal Gadot, Greta Gerwig and Lena Waithe. India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli was another Indian who had made it to the list this year.
Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Are the other two people of Indian origin who made it to the list. The list, now in its fifteenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.
World leaders like US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Bangladesh’s premier Sheikh Hasina were also featured in the list of 100 most influential people.
In the magazine, international star Vin Diesel, Padukone’s co-star in her Hollywood debut, “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” has penned a few words of appreciation for her.
Diesel wrote of her: “When Deepika Padukone came in to read for one of the Fast and the Furiousfilms, I knew instantly I was in the presence of someone very special. As soon as she entered the room, there was a synchronicity, a synergy, a chemistry—it promised great things to come. Her schedule didn’t work for that movie, but I never gave up. She was the first role we cast in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. She said, “I want to do this movie, but if I do, you have to come to India.” Thank God I made that deal.
“Making that movie, Deepika took committed to a whole other level. That’s who she is as a performer. She wants the whole movie to shine, which is a rare thing. Anyone could talk about how beautiful she is, and anyone could tell you about her unmatched comedic timing. But she isn’t just a star. She’s an actor’s actor, dedicated to the craft.
“So often in the entertainment industry we deal in stereotypes, and people get stuck in certain markets. Deepika is the best Earth has to offer. She’s not just here to represent India; she’s here to represent the world,” Diesel stated.
Padukone scored a success at the box office this year with the epic drama, “Padmaavat,” in which she played the title role. One of the highest-paid actors in Indian cinema today, she has 18 brands in her portfolio and has a strong social media presence.
Apart from her work as an artiste, Padukone’s philanthropic side has seen her spreading awareness on the condition of mental illness. She has spoken about her battle with depression and has been working towards creating awareness with her NGO, The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLF). The list also features actress Meghan Markle, who will become a British royal family member upon her wedding to Prince Harry in May.
Sachin Tendulkar wrote about Virat Kohli: “Every sportsman knows what it’s like to have good spells and bad ones too,” the batting maestro explained. “Virat took the criticism he faced during a disappointing West Indies series and returned home with a goal: to improve not only his technique, but also his fitness level. He’s never looked back.”
“Honestly, I’ve never really believed in self-acknowledgement. Instead, I have always looked ahead. But I must admit that today, I do feel a small sense of achievement. It is humbling to be acknowledged for the work that you do, and so, it’s my absolute honour to be part of this prestigious list alongside such incredible achievers,” Deepika also expressed her gratitude in her Instagram post feeling honoured.
Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, had his excerpt in the magazine’s influential list written by former managing editor of Time and current history professor at Tulane University Walter Isaacson, who said, “In the four years since he inherited a sticky wicket, Microsoft’s market value has increased 130 percent.”
“More important,” Isaacson continued, “the company is now making products that feel more user-friendly, empathetic and collaborative.”