Stephanie Hallett
September 02, 2016 1:00 pm

Are you sitting down? Good. Because you’re about to meet your new #1 girl crush, and she’s pretty darn special.

Deepika Padukone is talented, gorgeous, whip smart and the highest-paid actress in Bollywood (she’s also the 10th highest-paid actress in the world). And, since she’s set to appear in Vin Diesel’s next film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, due out next year, you’ll soon be seeing a lot more of her stateside.

The actress, who was born in Copenhagen but grew up in Bangalore, India, is featured in Paper magazine’s current 1,000 most beautiful people issue, so the U.S. buzz is finally beginning. Read on to learn five things you might not know about this incredible woman.

1. Before shooting xXx, she hadn’t been to the U.S. since she was a child

She told Paper, “We have a lot of family that lives in America, but I’d never been there for work. xXx was my first experience and one that I’ll never forget.”

2. Before becoming an actress, Padukone was known for modeling in the Kingfisher swimsuit calendar.

The Kingfisher calendar is similar to the Pirelli calendar here in the U.S., and it’s one of the most prestigious modeling gigs in India.

3. She used to be a badminton champ!

Her father is award-winning badminton player Prakash Padukone, who encouraged his daughter to pursue the sport.

4. She loves Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling just as much as you do.

When Paper asked her to name her dream male costar for a romantic comedy she said, “As cliché as it may sound, for now, I would have to stick with Bradley Cooper or Ryan Gosling.”

5. She’s a fierce advocate for women’s rights.

In 2015 she appeared in Homi Adajania’s short film, My Choice, which features 99 women asserting themselves and affirming their choices, from having sex before marriage to embracing your body no matter its size.

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