My tribute to leading ladies who have starred in my films and embellished my cinema continues this week. My movies would never be what they are without the presence of these talented and beautiful actresses.
Bipasha Basu: Many industry insiders had raised their eyebrows with my choice of Bipasha for the character of Nishigandha Dasgupta. She came into the film with her glamourous image and here I was looking for someone to play a high-flying corporate executive. But Bipasha left no stone unturned to break her image and even received critical acclaim for the film.
Neetu Chandra: Neetu debuted in a glamorous avatar in Garam Masala, and I was unsure while casting her for the role of a Kathiawadi street seller in Traffic Signal. Her performance zapped me. She researched for the role and interacted with people living on the streets.
Priyanka Chopra: Priyanka and I always wanted to work with each other and I knew that would happen only when I had something exceptional for her. She was initially restrained when we narrated the role of Meghna Mathur; the complexity of the character and its grey shades made her think twice before we started off. But the more she delved into the role, the more she realised that it could be a landmark in her career as an actor. Today, she has proven that she is truly talented.
Kangna Ranaut: After seeing Kangana in Woh Lamhe, I knew I had found my Shonali Gujral for Fashion. Although she had reservations about the length of the role, 10 minutes into the narration, she agreed to play the character. Her intensity helped the film immensely.
Mugdha Godse: Though Mugdha was the new one amongst the other established ones (Priyanka and Kangana), she stood her ground amongst the powerful cast. There is a general notion that models cannot act but she broke that myth with her stellar performance.
Write to Madhur Bhandarkar at firstname.lastname@example.org