Deepika Padukone introduces ‘Naatu Naatu’ at Oscars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was on hand at the Oscars on Sunday to introduce the performance of best original song nominee (and later winner) “Naatu Naatu,” from “RRR.”

In presenting the song, she noted its anti-colonialist themes — but it’s also “a total banger,” she said.

The “Naatu Naatu” performance featured playback singers Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj flanking a squadron of high-energy dancers. The film’s lead actors, N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, did not perform.

While Padukone is best known for her Hindi-language films, she got her start in South Indian cinema — her first movie was the Kannada-language “Aishwarya.” Already a global celebrity, the 37-year-old has had a major year outside of India. She also served on the jury at the 75th Cannes Film Festival last May and walked out the World Cup trophy alongside former Spain keeper Iker Casillas at the final in Qatar.

She most recently starred opposite Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the hit “Pathaan,” which brought in $5.9 million at the North American box office alone in its first weekend.

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