If you ever wondered where all the fury and violence in her first two films "Dushman" and "Sangharsh" came from, you only have to listen to Tanuja Chandra hold forth on the fate of her ready-for-release "Film Star".
An insider's view into the workings of the film industry, "Film Star" has been pending with her producer Sahara for months now.
Sighs the exasperated director: "I fail to see why they're not releasing the film. There just doesn't seem any planning or coordination. You don't know whom to approach or how to see your film hit the theatres."
Hitting theatres is actually out of the question -- Sahara has decided to premiere "Film Star" on their television channel.
"I've ceased to fight about it. The producer has the last right. I can only comply with their wishes. But I'm very proud of 'Film Star'," says Tanuja.
Tanuja is also very proud of her new English film "Hope And A Little Sugar", which was shot entirely in the US. And she's very happy with her American producers.
"It's a relief to work with professionals for a change. Everything from production to marketing to release is being handled with utmost briskness. No hanky panky, no goof ups.
"Their way of functioning is so different from our 'chalta hai' attitude to filmmaking. Out here, you have to fight every step of the way.
"With 'Hope And A Little Sugar', I just had to focus on making the film. Everything else was taken care of."
The film, described by Tanuja as "crossover in every sense", is about the scenario in the US post-9/11. It features among others Anupam Kher and Mahima Chowdhary.
"The cast was a delight. We could finish the film in record time only because the actors valued time and money."
Now the gritty director, whose recent films like "Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar" and "Sur" haven't done well, is all set to direct Sushmita Sen in a hard-hitting drama about the new-age woman.
"I can't divulge the details. But, yes, it would be a role that would do justice to Sushmita's presence. I've always felt her to be a volcano of talent.
"Of late, Sushmita has been doing a great deal of very strong roles. I feel she's at a stage when she can do so much. I've got unusual performances out of Kajol in 'Dushman', Preity Zinta in 'Sangharsh' and Mahima in 'Film Star'. Sushmita and I can really vibe well."
Sushmita has recently been working with a string of female directors - Farah Khan in "Main Hoon Na", Kalpana Lajmi in "Chingari" and now Tanuja.
Do actresses give their best with female directors?
"I don't know," shrugs Tanuja. "But I really like what female directors do with actresses, for example Jennifer Kendall in Aparna Sen's "36 Chowringhee Lane", Shilpa Shetty in Revathy's "Phir Milenge" ... I guess I'll always look at cinema from a woman's point of view."