She’s a glorified mother on the big screen. A multitasker of sorts, she handles her roles as a homemaker, mother, wife and actress with equal grace. Known for her collection of saris and accessories, supermom Kirron Kher unwinds:
I believe you’re at your motherly best in Mummyji and Apne?
( Laughs ) I hope so. In Mummyji I play the title role of a mother from Chandigarh. She has plans for her children, which eventually go awry. In Apne, I play Dharamji’s wife. It’s a central character. She keeps the family together in times fair and foul.
Aren’t you close to becoming the best mum in Hindi cinema?
Oh God! I hope not! In Just Married I played the elderly married woman. In Om Shanti Om , I’m playing a role, 360 degrees different from my earlier ones. I would never a play a mum’s role for the heck of it. Characterisation is important.
After Hum Tum and Veer Zaara, do you consider yourself an integral part of the Yash Raj camp?
I don’t buy this so-called camp theory. I’ve known the Chopra family for years, much before I got into movies. And I work with other directors too. There’s no question of campism. I debuted in mainstream cinema with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas. I’ve been into art- house films for years. My heart belongs to them. I’ve done commercial cinema more often of late.
I’m open to working with anyone in the industry who knows his job.
Hasn’t art-house cinema taken a back seat lately?
Maybe. Lately, there haven’t been too many art-house films that I would’ve wanted to do. I would’ve loved to play Shabana Azmi’s part in 15 Park Avenue. I think the lines between commercial and arthouse cinema are blurring with the multiplex culture.
<b1>What is the update on Kaisa Yeh Junoon?
It’s shooting has been postponed to the end of this month. It’ll be telecast on the ARY channel.We’re planning to shoot in Cambridge. I play a professor at the Cambridge University who’s a mother of two. Now that it’s postponed, I’ll attend the IIFA awards.
Were you apprehensive about taking up the Pakistani TV serial project?
No, no. In fact, I went and shot in Pakistan for Khamosh Pani when there was a cold war of sorts between us. I was treated well. I didn’t have to go through security threats or visa hassles. Even for this project, I have my work permit in place though we’re shooting in England, not in Pakistan.
Like Dilip Kumar, were you asked to return the award you won at the Karachi Film Festival?
For that movie, I won awards at the Locarno International Film Festival, and at Cape Town. The one I won at Karachi was sent through Anupam, who also won the Best Actor award there.
Gladly, no such demands were made because the political environment had changed. I think it’s impolite to ask someone to return an award. If one were to win an award at some French Festival you wouldn’t ask the actor to return it.
<b2>Why aren’t you doing any talk shows now?
I’d love to do one.. I’m not offered any right now. I thoroughly enjoyed Purushkshetra. I think most talk shows have moved to news channels now.
So, they usually look for someone within the organisation or a pretty-young-thing to do it.. however incapable the girl is. I’d jump at the opportunity of doing one if it came my way.
What’s up on the theatre front?
I’ve taken a long sabbatical. I wouldn’t take up theatre unless it’s with Anupam. At this point I’m not interested in working with other producers because there’s hardly any time left for family then. If Anupam and I decide to do a play together, it gives us an opportunity to work schedules out in a manner that’s convenient to both of us.We might do one soon.
Where does your collection of saris stand?
( Laughs ) Exactly where it stood.. large and ever-growing. Saris are timeless and that’s why I collect them. I can’t part with my saris for anything in the world.
News is that you’re not on good terms with director Apoorva Lakhia?
Not true.Whatever gave you that impression? He’s a nice boy. We share a great rapport. I’m sure he’d say the same.
Do you agree that Sikander will have a tough start and too many expectations considering his lineage?
I hope not. I hope he comes forth as a good artiste. With hard work and focus I’m sure he’ll go a long way. As for the expectations, one can’t help but appreciate them.
Lastly, doesn’t it worry you that he already has the image of a wild guy?
Of late, it is changing. Some people who held a grudge, leaked stories to their journalist friends.. common place now a days. I think it’s better to enter the industry this way rather than entering with a halo.This way he’s proving his so-called critics wrong.