It's been months since Zindaggi Rocks didn't exactly rock.. but some critics are still shuddering about your double role in it.
Well, I did the role.. rather roles.. because I loved the script. It was a fantastic opportunity to make friends with the new generation.
As for the reviews, the critics are entitled to their opinion. They can say what they want to. I've gone through both good and bad reviews all my life. The film's box-office performance didn't bother me either. I have moved on.
So many actresses of your generation are doing author-backed roles. Why aren't you?
Hema (Malini) and Rekha were my seniors. Neetu (Kapoor), Shabana (Azmi), Dimple (Kapadia) and I are from the same generation. If Hema and Rekha are getting author backed roles, it's the producers and directors who're planning the parts for them.
I don't write scripts or produce films. I've been in the industry for 20 years.. juggling between the roles of a wife, mother and a professional. I think I'm still doing wonderful films like Aparna Sen's Japanese Wife. Thank you very much.
Do you think you could have done better if you had entered the Bombay movies when you weren't married?
Yes, definitely. I would have had more time to concentrate on my careeer. I was in too many boats at the same time.
Once you're married and have children, you can't focus only on your career. From the outset, I wasn't too ambitious. Even today, I don't work more than 10 days in a month. Gulzar saab and Mahesh Bhatt once told me that I'm a horrible planner.. that my kids must be a roadblock to a successful film career. I didn't agree with them. Thank God, I don't have to come back to an empty home.
<b1>Do actors and actresses enter politics due to dearth of work? You were in politics once, campaigning for the Congress party.
Whether it's Amitabh Bachchan or Vinod Khanna, it's a personal choice. I dabbled in politics not because I didn't have any work, I felt like doing it. But politics is tough, I can do without it.
What's your worst career mistake?
Someone told me that having children, early on in my career, was a career mistake. I disagree.
There's news that you have split from your husband – Joyanto Mukherjee. Don't you miss a man in your life?
What! Who told you? (she rings her husband up immediately.. makes me talk to him) My child, you've fallen prey to a cheap piece of gup circulating in the media.
See, he was staying at our bungalow in Khar with my mother-in-law because she was extremely unwell. We take care of her in turns. Joy and I can never split.. but I'm not surprised.
When I was expecting my daughter Payal, a film magazine wrote that I was seeing Vinod Mehra on one page and Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kumar on another. Vinod had taken my car because he was seeing Rekha and he wanted to meet her.
Would you say the casting couch exits?
Yes, if you want quick success. Who can deny the fact that there's a lot of favouritism here?
Did your heroes flirt with you?
Sometimes, they did and most of the times, I would flirt with everyone. Shabana once said that I have the capacity to flirt with everyone from a six-year-old to a 60-year-old. When I'm on the sets, I still flirt with everyone but I make sure it's harmless. I can't be serious at the studios.
Have you ever been madly in love?
Yes. With my husband. He's the only man I've loved in my life. (Laughs) Actually, you must look up old magazines. They will give you the entire history of my love life.. with Vinod Mehra, Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kumar.
What's happening to your daughters' careers?
My daughter Payal is a top creative executive in a TV channel. She's in her late 20s. Megha is preparing for her Hindi film debut. She is also doing
in Bengali. One is doing well, the other has just begun.
What is your rapport with them?
Oh, we are Charlie's Angels. We go out to discos and pubs together.
What about their Hindi diction?
All three of us have a decent command over our Hindi. I may still have a little Bangla touch but my daughters are fine. We at least don't speak
Which films are you doing currently?
Besides Aparna's film, there's one with Basu Chatterjee and another with Krishna Pandey.