With her sensuous roles and curvaceous body, Shilpa Shirodkar set many a heart aflutter during her heyday in the ’90s. The actor, who has quite a few hits to her credit, is now returning to acting after 13 years. However, Shilpa has chosen TV over the big screen for her comeback. She is playing the lead in a daily fiction series called Ek Mutthi Aasman. In a candid chat, she talks about her career so far and the rapidly changing definition of what is considered sexy in Bollywood.
You were known for your bold roles. What do you have to say about today’s heroines, many of whom don’t mind doing intimate scenes or wearing skimpy clothes?
Today’s cinema demands all this. During our time, society was conservative, so if you did glamorous roles, it was very out-of-the-box. Today, audiences want a skinny, slim heroine; if you are plump, you don’t work. In our time, the plumper you were, the better, as audience’s mentality was different. Today I can’t imagine starting from where I left off. But there’s no pressure on anyone as it is the requirement of the job. It’s their choice. There is meaningful cinema too, but of course, everyone can’t be a Vidya Balan. Cinema is male-centric. Eventually, people want to be part of a Salman, Aamir, Shah Rukh or an Akshay film and deliver a commercial hit. But doing TV today is a bonus for me. There is more scope to act on TV.
Do you have any regrets when you look back at your career?
No, I don’t have any regrets. I have done all sorts of roles. People remember me for my rain songs (laughs). Kimi Katkar left when I joined films, so that worked in my favour. For me, it was not a conscious decision to become a glamour doll. I was quite popular back then and, today, if people talk about me, it’s because of my work.
Are you in touch with any of your co-stars from the ’90s, like Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor or Madhuri Dixit — all of whom are doing television too?
I haven’t met anyone yet. I bumped into Madhuri a few days ago as our kids go to the same school. We were never close while we were working but became friendly while shooting Mrityudand (1997). I hope once they see my show, they will call me.
Among the current crop of actresses, who do you find the most glamorous?
There are so many of them. I love Katrina (Kaif) and Kareena (Kapoor). But my personal favourite is Priyanka Chopra. I find her hot, and she has a lovely voice. Also, she comes across as a warm person.