Having proved her acting prowess in films over three decades, Poonam Dhillon is glad that her search for a powerful role ended on television. The senior actor returns to the small screen after her stint on Kittie Party more a decade ago (2002), with a show that revolves around a unique saas-bahu relationship.
In this interview, the veteran actor, known for her roles in films like Noorie (1979) and Sohni Mahiwal (1984), talks about the TV show, its comparisons with Sridevi’s film, English Vinglish (2012), and how she would love to play more significant roles in films.
Though the makers claim that Ekk Nayi Pehchaan (ENP) is based on a Gujarati play called Sharda, it seems more inspired by English Vinglish. Have you seen the film?
That is the perception. English Vinglish had one dimension but, in ENP, we show my character’s relationship with her mother-in-law, husband, kids and daughter-in-law. Sridevi was very good in the film, and I’ve always admired her. The film had a lot of flavours of Mind Your Language (British TV show). We have a lot of such flavours too; maybe consciously or subconsciously, we takeinspiration from around the world. My character, Sharda, in ENP, has more meat than Sridevi’s in the film.
Are you open to playing a mother in films?
I don’t mind playing a mom, but if I’m just somebody in someone else’s love story, then I’m not interested. I get movie offers, but I need a role that allows me to perform so that people notice me. I want to play good characters, not glamorous ones. I’ve done enough of those in the past, and now it’s not my age to play those kind of roles. Also, I don’t want to do 15-20 films. One or two good films every year, with a television show, will be enough to keep me busy. I recently did a Punjabi film called Double Di Trouble with Dharamji (Dharmendra). It was good fun.
Would you like your children to enter the film industry?
Maybe, if they wish to. At 17-18 years of age, they might have figured out their interests. They are at an impressionable age. I think my son (Anmol) seems interested (in joining films), but not my daughter (Paloma).
Do you see yourself remarrying or falling in love again?
One doesn’t think about such things, since one doesn’t plan them. I haven’t really given it (love) much thought. Who doesn’t like having love, companionship, care and affection? I get plenty of that from my family and friends. But I’m not averse to marriage.
A question you have been asked numerous times?
It’s embarrassing to answer, but people often ask me ‘How do you look so good? How do remain fit?’ I have no answer to that, as I don’t do anything much health-wise.
A question you never want to answer.
I don’t like answering personal questions.
What habit of yours would you like to change?
My habit of sleeping late. I need to get up early and sleep early. I am constantly sleep-deprived.
An actor you feel is popular on TV today.
I like Ronit Roy a lot as I feel he’s a fine actor. He has remained popular over time, and managed to reinvent himself too.
What topics would you like TV shows to touch upon?
We should have shows that focus on how working women multitask at home and work. They usually show that the women fail at one or the other, which isn’t the truth.