She says it is her second home but at the same time Jaya Bachchan says she feels "strange" each time she is in Kolkata, though she chooses to leave the remark unexplained. The actor, who arrived in the city late on Sunday to attend the premiere of Lovesongs: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, spoke to HT City before the film’s premiere.
Last time we met you were Mridula Chatterjee, clad in a taant sari, tense and preoccupied with shooting. Now the film is about to release. How do you feel?
I have been in the industry since the 1970s. It has been a long journey. With friends and relatives from the industry, Fridays make no difference. However, my association with the crew of Love Songs… has been memorable. I feel fortunate to have come across so many nice people. I will cherish the moments spent here as the crew are now my personal friends.
What about Om Puri?
Om is an excellent actor. But personally I feel he is yet to get his due. One needs to have a larger than life image for that and he is too simple to say anything.
Tell us about Mridula, the character.
She is a grandmother who goes back in time and shares a story with her grandson. Jayabrato Chatterjee, the director and my friend, wrote the script with a tailormade role for me. I’m honoured.
<b1>Which films do we see you in soon?
Sunglass (by Rituparno Ghosh), which also stars Konkona Sensharma, was completed donkey’s years ago. I have no clue when it will release. I am reading a couple of scripts though I am yet to say yes to any of them.
In Goldie Behl’s Drona you work with Abhishek Bachchan. How was the experience?
I have a tiny role in the film. There are friends from the industry to whom you cannot say no. I really don’t have much to do in the film.
Have there been mostly ‘mother roles’ for you?
At this age, those are the ones on offer. Elderly women rarely have anything interesting offered to them anyway. I remember asking Salim Khan why he did not write a script with a woman as the protagonist. His reply was, "Aap logo ne kam karna bandh kar diya hai."
Any plans of the four Bachchans acting together in a film?
That would be a tall experience (laughs)! But seriously, expectations would be huge and we’d need a talented and experienced hand.
What is your take on the recent parochial politics in Mumbai?
In the 21st century how can people talk about such issues? I was born and brought up in MP, studied and worked in Maharashtra and am married to someone from UP. If even one per cent of the young generation is thinking on those lines, it’s really sad.