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Madhuri hopes the audience accepts her

india Updated: Jan 16, 2007 12:26 IST
Highlight Story

Think Madhuri Dixit and think of chart-busting songs-n-dances, accomplished performances and of course, the sudden pulling of the career plug for the
I-shall-live-happily-after finale.

Five years ago, La Dix migrated to Colorado. The numero uno was missed but not forgotten. But now, she’s back in her Juhu apartment, with mum, dad and two angelic kids: Arin, all of four, and one-year-old Ryan. She’s 40, she still has that tube-light smile, some extra kilos, and after much hide-and-chic is back on her career-track with the imminent Yashraj movie kick-off, which will be directed by cinematographer Anil Mehta. Titled Aa Nachle, it will present her in the role of a dance instructor. Yet like it or not, let’s get real. The question remains: Can she dhak-dhak back into the hearts of the audience infamous for its fickle, fickle ways?

Why has it taken you so long to return to the movies?
Because of my kids. I was having fun with them. Like every woman, I’ve wanted to see them grow up.

So what attracted you to restart with Aa Nachle?
I’ve worked with Yashji, I’m aware how his banner works— they finish a project within the set deadline. Plus, the film will be shot entirely in Mumbai,which means I don’t have to travel all over the place. I liked the script — it’s perfect for my comeback. And I’ve seen Anil Mehta’s work as a cinematographer (Lagaan, Veer Zaara, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna). So, here I am.

There were rumours that you would return in a film opposite Amitabh Bachchan, directed by Yash Chopra.
Aha! They were just that — rumours.

DIRECTOR-SPEAK 

Rakesh Roshan

There is tremendous possibility of her making a mark once again since she’s still looking very lovely. And let’s not forget that she’s a competent performer. However, a lot depends on the character she’ll play in her comeback film. But knowing her the way I do, I am sure she’ll give her best, after all, she’s on a comeback trail.

Rajkumar Santoshi

It’s great news that Madhuri is coming back to films. She’s an outstanding actress and I’m sure she’ll be as fantastic as ever. Having directed her in Pukaar, Lajja, I can say that she works hard to add to her character and film. I would definitely like to work with her again with an appropriate script that does justice to her potential.

Indra Kumar

I’ve done the maximum number of films with her and most of them have been hits. She can recreate the magic again. It’s great that she’s signed the Yashraj film. Anil Mehta is a good cinematographer. About six-eight months ago, I had discussed a subject with her, but things didn’t work out. I hope, we’ll work together again.

Rahul Rawail

First it was Kajol in Fanaa  and now Madhuri Dixit. It’s good news for the film industry. I hope Sridevi, too, makes a comeback. Madhuri has abundant of (sic!)talent. Whatever industrywallas say about her age and being a mother of two kids, I’m optimistic that audiences want to see her, again and again. So do I.

Raj N Sippy

I worked with her in Thanedaar and I’m happy that she’s making a comeback. She is a complete actor. There is a need for actors like her. She’s proven herself when she was here before. I’m sure this time too she will win over audiences. I am looking forward to seeing the Madhuri charisma all over again.



You sound as if you’ve missed out on working with Mr Bachchan.
I know, I know. Honestly, there’s a blank space within me as an actress for missing out on such an opportunity. But I’m an optimistic sort. Maybe I could work with him in the future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Does this mean you plan to sign more films?
Right now, it’s just this film. My comeback film. (Laughs)

And next?
I don’t know. It’s not that I’m going to do four-five films every year like before. My prime concerns are, of course, my kids. Once they start going to school, I will have to be around them. Then I’ll make another comeback. (Laughs)

Did you discuss the script with your husband?
Of course! We’re family, we decide everything mutually. It’s always a joint decision. It’s never one-sided. Yashji sent me the script and I was sure that this is the film I want to make my comeback with. See, comeback again (giggles)!

Will your husband be in Mumbai?
No. He has gone back. He has a busy schedule, it requires him to look into various projects.

Are you anxious about the first day’s shoot?
Yes, I have butterflies in my stomach. I guess it will be fun after five years to face the lights. The shoot is slated for mid-January.

Do you keep track of the movies being made in India?
Not really. I’ve small kids, remember? I don’t even get time for myself.But yes, I usually come to know about what’s happening in Mumbai through Rikkuji (Rakeshnath, her secretary). I recently saw Dhoom II which has so much style. Everyone in the film is awesome.

Don’t you think movie-making here has changed?
I agree. I heard people here have become very professional and there is a new breed of talented directors. Multiplexes have changed the scenario. Earlier, there was chalta hai attitude. But not anymore.The economics have changed, surely for the better.

Which actor/actress of your time should make a comeback and why?
I’ve no clue about what the others are doing or who should make a comeback to the film industry. I guess all of them are still working.

A while ago, Rajkumar Santoshi had announced Mother India with you. What happened?
He had announced it. So, you should ask him for the details. I’ve no idea.

You recently performed at an award function. Was that your testing ground for the comeback?
It was just a coincidence. I was in town and they persuaded me to perform.. after lots of no-no and yes-yes, I agreed.

And than you were flooded with compliments.
It was wow!You know one never gets fed up of compliments. They are always welcome. Compliments make one feel good.

You are being closely watched now. How will you deal with this?
If you mean dealing with the media, I’ve faced it all before. It’s part of an actor’s life. I’ll handle it.

Your take on M F Hussain finding a new muse in Amrita Rao.
I saw the portrait he has done of Amrita. It’s really good. As an artist, Hussainsahab needs to express himself and he’s free to do so. One needs to move on. It’s like me working with various directors and actors.

Did you call him after seeing the portrait?
I don’t know where he is right now. But we do speak when we can.

Any last words?
Umm... let me see... okay, let’s hope the audience accepts me... the
way they did before... touch wood, touch everything.

vajir .singh@hindustantimes.com

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