She says she is done with run-of-the-mill love stories and prefers to do meaningful and offbeat roles. Juhi Chawla's next Swami, which she says is close to reality, falls in just that category.
Swami is choreographer-turned-director Ganesh Acharya's directorial debut. The film, which follows the life of the simple, middle class south Indian Swami, has Manoj Bajpai in the title role with Juhi featuring as his wife.
"What I liked about the story is that what happens in the film with Swami can happen to anyone else. There is simplicity, innocence and there is a place for emotions in it. This kind of film is not made or shown these days. There is a beauty in simplicity and that's what I liked about Swami," Juhi told IANS in an interview.
The actress had no clue about the film. "I came to know about it when I got a call from Ganeshji saying that he wants to meet me about a film. I have known Ganeshji for a long time. I have done a lot of songs with him. He has made me dance, made me do comedy. We have done some really fun songs before."
But she was not surprised. Juhi feels most of the dance directors have a vision and want to share it with the world.
"Dance directors always have this one vision in their mind and they want to make a complete film with that vision. These technicians share their ideas with other directors, but are never implemented. That's why I wasn't surprised when Ganeshji told me he wanted to get into direction. But I was surprised after hearing the script."
Post story session Juhi was in tears.
<b1>"I was very surprised that the film that he wants to make has simplicity, emotions, reality and a very touching end. After hearing the story I had tears in my eyes."
Talking about her character, she said: "I play Radha. Swami and Radha have a really good relationship. There are good moments with a lot of fun and laughter. And then something happens and Radha is not a part of Swami's life anymore."
She was more than happy to share the screen with someone as talented as Manoj.
"I have seen Manoj in his earlier films and I always thought that he is a brilliant actor. In fact, when Ganeshji told me that he is playing Swami, I was very happy because you need a good actor and somebody who you can believe in. The audience will believe in Swami."
The last time Juhi played a woman from the south was in the Aamir Khan starrer Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke.
"So it was nice to dress up a little differently. The saris are a little loud. I have never worn such clothes in my life. Let me tell you an interesting fact - when the saris came, I thought they were very expensive but when I saw the price tags I was surprised, they were for Rs.250-350."
"I was also made to wear those typical nose rings. I never wear kajal because I feel that it makes my eyes look really big, but in this film I applied kajal too."
But she didn't have to work on her pronunciation.
"I was interested to know whether Radha would have an accent? I wanted to speak with an accent but Ganeshji told me that it was not required because the couple have been staying in Lonavala since many years."
Swami has no villain.
"There is no KK, JK or DK who picks up the gun and blows out your brains. The people in the film are all good; there is no bad character in the film. It is an easy flowing and yet moving along kind of a film."
Juhi is all praises for the child star who plays her son in the film.
"He was always well rehearsed. He had a lot of dialogues (I thought he'll forget them), but he used to come completely ready. So that was really nice, because at times when kids are unable to talk, then a lot of retakes happen."
There is no dance number in the film either.
"There are songs in Swami and but the surprising part is that there are no dances in Ganeshji's film."