When Deepika Padukone came in to read for one of the Fast and the Furious films, 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 stars in the xXx and Fast and the Furious franchises