Shilpa Shukla of Chak De India fame is enjoying her stint on TV We still remember Shilpa Shukla as the robust Bindiya Naik from Chak De India but she is currently dazzling viewers on two TV shows — dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Rajuben, a hard-hitting mini-series... even though she confesses she was always skeptical of doing television shows.
Why do you choose such intense roles as Chak De India and now Rajuben?
These roles find me. When I look back, I think that nobody else could have played those roles. But I’m not that intense. On Jhalak..., I’m chirpy all the time.
In Rajuben, you play a mother to actors of your age. Is that awkward?
The makers of the serial were a little skeptical because actresses don’t want to play older characters. But I’m not one of them.
Is it easy to play someone older?
While playing a mother, I remember my own mother. An actor uses all that he or she has lived through and his or her relationships in work. Amongst many other things, I have used the way my mother would roll her eyes and talk to us.
Do you feel Rajuben would have had more impact if it had been a film?
I was very skeptical of television; and even now it is just these two shows. I’m getting back to my movies. I always maintain that Rajuben is equal to four films. Plus, the way movies are happening right now, you can’t be sure if the audience will come to the theatre. The recession has hit everyone. Television has a wider reach.
On Jhalak... you said that you cannot be friends with the other celebrities on the show. Why?
In a competitive scenario, a person like me will not make friends. If you call somebody a friend you should be able to maintain that. When you are on Jhalak..., there is too much energy around you and you just need to cut off because if you receive negative energies, you are gone.
People objected to your meeting Shah Rukh and asking him to appeal for votes on your behalf.
It was not an appeal for votes. I take my cues from him. I was dancing on the song Om Shanti Om and wanted to use a dialogue from the film. I was shooting in Film City and Shah Rukh was shooting there too. I went in and we had a long chat. It was for my confidence, not for votes.