When Salman Khan and Bhagyashree starred in the cult film Maine Pyar Kiya (MPK; 1989) they set a million hearts aflutter. However, the hit pair didn’t team up on the big screen again, and
quit acting at the peak of her career, putting her family first.Now, as she returns to acting with a television show, the actor talks about her good friend, Salman, and her acting career.
Have you remained in touch with Salman?
We meet on-and-off at social functions, but we haven’t really kept in touch. We were close friends during the making of Maine Pyaar Kiya. He was very protective towards me as I came from a conservative family. I have fond memories from the making of the film. But later, Salman got busy with his life and I, with mine, so we lost touch.
Would you be willing to be part of a sequel to Maine Pyaar Kiya?
It would be wonderful. I’d be so happy (to do it), but whoever makes it will have to deal with the pressure to live up to the standard of the cult love story.
What do you think of Salman’s current superstardom?
It’s amazing, and I’m very happy for him. Salman is looking so good… he hasn’t looked this good in a while. He’s definitely looking much hotter now.
While he is still a star, do you regret giving up acting at your peak?
I’ve no regrets about that decision. Home and hearth beckoned, and I felt that I should devote my time to my young kids. It was important for me to be there for them. The film offers never stopped. I kept getting them, but nothing interested me enough. I did a few movies down south seven–eight years ago, which had interesting characters.
Apparently, Salman will help launch your son Abhimanyu Dassani…
I don’t want to talk about that right now. He’s just starting out and learning the ropes. When we take a decision, we will reveal more details.
Why did you choose to make your comeback with a TV show and not a film?
As an actor, the medium doesn’t matter, the role does. I feel that this character suits my sensibilities and is intriguing, which is why I took it up. Also, today, the subjects that TV shows deal with are varied and the production scale has drastically improved.
You’re playing the role of a mother, though you don’t look like one?
(Laughs) Perhaps the makers saw me with my kids and chose me for the part. I take it as a compliment that, despite having two grown up children, I look young. Unlike my contemporaries, I don’t hide my age. I don’t have to compete with 20-year-olds. My son is 23 years old and I am happy saying that.
How have you managed to maintain your physique?
What works for me is positive thinking. People ask me about my diet, my workout regimen and how my face glows, and all I tell them is that it’s because I don’t have any negativity or ill will towards anyone. But, of course, you also have to maintain a disciplined lifestyle, eat properly and work out.