Chandramukhi was a saint, Begum is anything but one: Madhuri Dixit

Even though Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit stayed away from the limelight for quite a while, living a rather normal life in the heart of Denver, it did not make any difference to her loyal fan following. Her glorious return to Mumbai clearly indicated how much her fans had missed watching her move to the groove. She is ready to set the silver screen ablaze in the much-anticipated Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi starring sequel Dedh Ishqiya.

Although her return to Bollywood may not have been dramatic for her, it did change the perspective of her sons and family — they were surprised over people’s reactions. “They’d come home saying, ‘But you’re still our mom?’ And I’d assure them that I was. Earlier, it would give them a kick to see me on Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa, now they are immune to my on-screen charms,” Madhuri said, according to the Times of India.

Madhuri admits that she misses her life as an ordinary housewife. “I love the city’s [Mumbai] energy and social life, but I miss Denver with its open spaces. There is a park in every corner; I could run uninhibitedly with the kids without worrying about prying eyes. I could visit toy shops and go shopping for groceries,” she said.

Being at the top of her game when she voluntarily walked out, one might assume that she must have missed being in showbiz, but she says otherwise. “I was too busy for it. The only movie I wish I could have done was Erin Brockovich. I’m surprised no one has thought of remaking the movie here,” she points out.

Remaking Erin Brockovich may take ages, but she seems to be garnering a lot of praise for her upcoming role as Begum Para in Dedh Ishqiya. Her royal, old-fashioned attire and dance moves appear very similar to those of her much-acclaimed character of Chandramukhi in Devdas, but she insists that there is nothing in common between the two. “Chandramukhi was a saint, Begum is anything but one,” she asserted.

Compared to the first edition, Madhuri’s role in the sequel is very different from Vidya Balan’s — another actor who is known for her impeccable screen presence and versatility. Will Madhuri ever dare to take on a character similar to Vidya’s Silk? “I don’t know,” she said. “One of my biggest gambles was Prakash Jha’s Mrityudand. The divide between mainstream and art was distinct then, and I was reprimanded for accepting an art film.”

Madhuri feels that film-making has changed for the better and has become way more professional. “In our time, we were told a day earlier that shooting kal se karni hai (will start tomorrow) and had to start worrying about dress and dialogue. Now, actors are only expected to act,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2013.

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