Iconic Fashion Designer Wendell Rodricks, who passed away recently, helped Bollywood discover Deepika Padukone and also encouraged Anushka Sharma to move to Mumbai to pursue a career in Bollywood.
It was Wendell Rodricks who, after witnessing Deepika’s sincerity, had recommended her name to close friend Malaika Arora for a possible opportunity in films.
In 2007, choreographer-director Farah Khan was looking for a talented model to cast as the lead heroine in her film Om Shanti Om. It was then that Malaika suggested Deepika’s name for the role. Farah, who was already impressed with Deepika PAdukone after watching her in Himesh Reshammiya’s music video Naam Hai Tera in 2005, signed Deepika opposite SRK.
Om Shanti Om became a blockbuster hit and Deepika Padukone became a star overnight.
Anushka Sharma also shared her story on Instagram where she revealed how Wendell Rodricks helped her in her career.
“He had given me an opportunity to close his fashion week show in Mumbai after spotting me in Bangalore at a fashion show and was gracious, kind and encouraging. He was one of the reasons I had the courage to move to Mumbai from Bangalore to pursue modelling when I was just 18 years old,” Anushka said in her post.
Wendell Rodricks was an iconic fashion designer, an environmentalist, a gay rights activist, and was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2014.
Wendell Rodricks travelled across the globe, especially to Los Angeles and Paris, to study fashion. He interned at the National Museum of Costume and Fashion in Lisbon, Portugal and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City.