Madhuri Dixit: Older heroines should romance younger men too!

With back to back women-oriented flicks (Gulaab Gang and Dedh Ishqiya) in the pipeline, Madhuri Dixit is in seventh heaven as she’s getting to do what she loves the most- do great films along with managing her adorable family.

With back to back women-oriented flicks (Gulaab Gang and Dedh Ishqiya) in the pipeline, Madhuri Dixit is in seventh heaven as she’s getting to do what she loves the most- do great films along with managing her adorable family. Not a crease of anxiety on her face, she in fact says, “No I am not nervous at all, I am very excited about getting back to the grind after a long gap.” She will also be seen making an appearance with Juhi Chawla on Koffee with Karan. And since she’s so busy with all the brouhaha of promotions, ask her what’s simpler, being an actor in the ‘90s or being a competitive performer in today’s times…to which she says, “In earlier days we never went out of our way to promote a film. We used to attend one function that was shown on every channel. I think it’s more hard work now.”

Tell us something about the graceful Begum Para from Dedh Ishqiya

Begum Para is a very beautiful character written by Abhishek (Chaubey) and team. She is beautiful, poetic and the royal begum of Mehmudabad in Lucknow. She’s a widow and she does a swayamar every year because her husband’s wish was that if she ever gets married, then she should marry a poet. So there’s this swayamvar planned for her in which shayars have been summoned from all over the world, and she ends up bumping into Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) there.

How much is at stake with this film.

A lot, because I am appearing on the big screen after a long gap. But I’ve tried to do my best. Begum Para is a strong character and what you see is very different from what you get, Begum Para is a multi-layered kind of a woman. But it all depends how the film does at the end of the day.

There are times the character is formed keeping you in mind and also there are times, you have to mould yourself as per the character, what do you prefer the most?

I think every character should have depth, the deeper the character is, more fun it is to perform. If it’s a character like… ‘Daddy main first aayi hun’ (laughs), then there’s absolutely no challenge. Thank God those roles are redundant now. I am thankful that cinema has come a long way; we aren’t just portraying avengers or just being plain eye candy. For women it’s a great time to be here.

Dedh Ishqiya is very raw and edgy, it’s the kind of film that requires one to get very intense and sensual; did you have any reservations with all that, since you are primarily associated with hard-core commercial and family-oriented cinema?

You will see on screen why I picked Begum Para. And I remember when I did Mrityudand, people were like why did you do it. But I wanted to ‘coz it was a very strong character.

Who do you think is your biggest contender?

This is a very creative field. Nobody is a contender. We are not horses and we are not running a race.

A lot of these older men romance younger heroines; don’t you think the older heroines should romance younger men too?

Ya, I think we should romance younger guys too (laughs). But there’s noting to be surprised, male domination is everywhere, not just here. I’ve always noticed that women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves. We always have to nudge and nudge and finally create a place for ourselves.

What about your kids, do they like it in india?

Yes, they love the informality in India. They love their school. The only thing they miss is parks. When we were in Denver, there was a park in almost every nook and cranny.

How do your kids react when they see you act?

Well, earlier they used to be like ‘mom you’re on TV’ (in an enthusiastic way), and now they are like ‘mom you are on TV’ (all bored and disinterested).

You have also worked with Birju Maharaj in the film

Ya, he has choreographed me in a song in which everything is conveyed through expressions. I was like a kid in a candy store, ‘yeh kaise karna hai, woh kaise karna hai’. It was a great learning experience.

You think married women have finally started to get roles in B-town?

Married women have always got roles. Meena Kumari, Rakhee, Sharmila Tagore – all of them worked after marriage. A lot of them, themselves decided to take a sabbatical, I remember Mumtaz did that.

Were you always inclined towards marrying a man who doesn’t belong to the industry?

When I met Dr Nene, I didn’t really think about all that. I never had a set criteria on the kind of a person I should marry.


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