The 2012 box office hit Cocktail marked a turning point in Padukone's career, earning her praise and Best Actress nominations at several award ceremonies.
She rose to prominence with starring roles in the romantic comedies Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and Chennai Express (2013), the heist comedy Happy New Year (2014), and the historical romance Bajirao Mastani (2015), all of which rank among the highest-grossing Bollywood films.
The film was a financial success, Padukone's first release of 2009 came alongside Akshay Kumar in the Nikhil Advani-directed kung fu comedy Chandni Chowk To China, in which she portrayed the dual roles of Indian-Chinese twin sisters Sakhi and Suzy.
Her first role was in Vijay Lalwani's psychological thriller Karthik Calling Karthik, where Padukone was cast as the supportive girlfriend of a depressed man (played by Farhan Akhtar) who goes through a series of changes after receiving mysterious phone calls every morning.
She later explained, "I realised that I was playing the game only because it ran in the family.
So, I asked my father if I could give up the game and he wasn't upset at all." Set against the backdrop of the Hindi film industry, the film tells the story of a struggling actor in the 1970s who dies soon after witnessing the murder of the woman he loved and is reincarnated to avenge her death.
following which she appeared alongside Saif Ali Khan in the romantic drama Love Aaj Kal from the writer-director Imtiaz Ali.
The film documented the changing value of relationships among the youth and had Padukone play the part of Meera Pandit, a head-strong career woman.