Nine years ago there was this really tall girl romancing Shah Rukh Khan, the King of Bollywood, in her debut venture and it obviously grabbed many eyeballs because she was nowhere related to the industry, not even a star child. Many insiders felt she wouldn’t survive because of her "sweet looks" but they were severely mistaken. Her constant efforts and unstinting hard work got her into the Forbes list of top paid actresses around the world. That’s Deepika Padukone, should you not have guesses already!

She’s been a director’s delight ever since the time she played "Shanti" onscreen. Her next movie was Bachna Ae Haseeno with her beau Ranbir Kapoor and once again she was praised to the skies. And then was no looking back. She appeared in hit flicks like Love Aaj Kal, Housefull, Cocktail and now Padmavati, which hasn’t released yet, but you can sure it will have a huge impact on her career.

Padukone’s graph keeps headed in the upward direction because she has always made the right choices at the right time. Strangely enough, for someone who has appeared in more than 25 films till date, she’s not signed a single movie with Aamir Khan or Salman Khan.

One would imagine it would be a dream for any actress to be seen alongside Aamir or Salman because, for one, if it’s a Salman movie there’s the assurance that it will incur huge profits and, again, an Aamir film guarantees that it will be unique and well treated. Salman, in fact, has been known to give any actor’s career a push but seems Padukone is determined to go it her way, much like Kangana Ranaut who has made it big without the help of "Khans" of the industry.

There have been numerous occasions in the past where Padukone was almost finalised to play a lead against Salman, but nothing materialised. She was supposed to star in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo but she couldn’t allot dates because she was busy with Bajirao Mastani simultaneously. Post this, there were also rumours about her doing Tubelight with Salman but later Chinese actress Zhu Zhu was finalised.

Padukone’s graph has always seen her in movies with SRK, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranbir Singh and Saif Ali Khan and all her ventures have been hits at the box office (Tamasha being an exception). Take her contemporary industry friends like Anushka Sharma or Priyanka Chopra, both might have had movies with all three Khans but they’re nowhere ahead of the Padmavati actress. Chopra might be the bigger name in the West, but in Bollywood Padsukone shares the same carpet. So having a Salman or an Aamir movie in your kitty may or may not do wonders, but if the right choices are made, you can still hold all the aces. Padukone was once called a Rs 600-crore queen during the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Rasleela…RamLeela. The fact that she has a packed schedule ahead, with her Hollywood debut XXX releasing early next year and the shoot of Padmavati consuming the next few months – all this without a godfather in the industry – speaks a lot of her resolve and doubtless talent.