Even as Manisha Koirala belted out more-than-credible performances on screen, she was always in the news for her relationships, her politics and her family.
Lately, she's scarcely been seen in the movies, after flops like Anwar.
She was in Kolkata recently for a talk with guru Sri Nammanji of the Oneness University (a spiritual group based in Chennai).
Here's a chat with MK:
Are you spiritual?
I wanted to do something with my life. I heard about the Oneness University from a friend who has been into spiritualism for the last 25 years. I joined the course.
In fact, I still have ten days left. It has had a big impact on my life. I've been so influenced that I have even asked my brother to undergo the course, which he has already done. I have also asked my parents to do the course.
What kind of positive effects are you talking about?
I am a changed person. Small things no longer bother me. I can understand life much better.
I also have control over my anger. Earlier on, I used to fight with my mother quite often. Now, after a fight is over, I say sorry. At the same time, I can understand another person's point of view.
How important is it to be spiritual?
In my view spirituality helps you to enjoy life better. Even my brother is much more positive now.
I think it is important to strike a balance between spiritualism and your own life. Achieve something in life first - that is very important. I think it has made me happier and calmer.
Talking about work, you have not been doing too many films of late…
You are right. I am not doing too many films now. Actually, there was a time in my life when I thought I should actually stay away from the limelight.
I wanted to try out different things. In fact, I will soon be travelling to Europe and will learn French and also French cooking.
This doesn't mean that I am quitting films. Films are still my first love and they will always be.
<b1>Has it got something to do with the offers you were getting?
Yes, absolutely! Obviously if Mani Ratnam offers me a film I would do it. Recently, offers haven't been exciting enough.
What is the update on your film with Rituparno Ghosh, Khela, for which you were in Kolkata last?
I have no idea when it is releasing. You have to ask Ritu. You were one of the first who shunned glamour and went for experimentation.
You must be happy that more heroines are now into that also?
Yes, of course. The best part is that you have both types of directors now. On one hand you have directors like Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh and on the other hand you have a director like Karan Johar. Karan makes commercial films.. but he also presents them close to reality.
Who are your favourite heroines today?
I like Rani Mukherji and of course Konkona Sen Sharma.
Will you return to films?
Soon. But my priority is to involve myself with film production. I want to set up my production house and will be more into producing films at this point of my life.