Director Madhur Bhandarkar on real-life inspirations, Kareena’s intimate scenes and being the jury at Cairo.
How did you think of making Heroine?
Be it Chandni Bar (2001), Corporate (2006), Traffic Signal (2007), Jail (2009), or Fashion (2008), I’ve always made films on different subjects, and on people from various walks of life. So, I thought why not a film on Bollywood?
Are you worried that the film might upset someone from the industry?
It could. My films have always been like a mirror held up to society. But people from Bollywood should watch it purely as a film, because I haven’t taken a swipe at them. I have shown parts of the film industry in Page 3 (2005), Fashion and Corporate as well. People shouldn’t be judgmental about Heroine. Anyway, I’m not someone who’ll sit and analyse what others think. It’s just a story for me.
To what extent has the film drawn inspiration from real life?
I don’t have a yardstick for it. But it’s a mixed bag from Bollywood, Hollywood and the south too. Of course, I have added a lot of fiction to it.
Are you disappointed that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan couldn’t do the film?
Nothing like that. Today, when I see the film, I am happy. All’s well that ends well.
Was Kareena comfortable with the intimate scenes?
She was very comfortable with Arjun (Rampal) and Randeep (Hooda). Kareena, in this film, has pushed the envelope. She always had the image of a girl-next-door, but with this film she will undergo a transformation.
There is speculation that Heroine might be based on Parveen Babi’s life or that it could be similar to The Dirty Picture.
It’s a myth in this industry that anything remotely devastating or sad has to be similar to Parveen Babi’s life. My film talks about contemporary Bollywood. Her era was different. The Dirty Picture is also set in the ’80s and southern cinema, loosely based on Silk Smitha.
We hear that you will be at Cairo International Film Festival?
Yes, I will be one of the main jury members representing India. And I feel honoured.