Rekha desires challenge
It has been 34 years since she made her debut and she still looks stunningly beautiful. The enigmatic Rekha who's never seen on talk shows or media events is now ready to play mother to young actors whose fathers used to be her co-stars not too long ago.
Rekha did dozens of family dramas with Jeetendra and now she is playing his son Tusshar Kapoor's mother in director Prawaal Raman's thriller Ghaayab. But before that she'll be seen this week as Hrithik Roshan's mother in Rakesh Roshan's eagerly awaited Koi Mil Gaya.
"It's a small role," the elusive enchantress whispers and warns her fans not to expect too much of her in the film. "But interestingly, I wear a completely minimal look for a change. White cotton saris and a stark look."
Rekha was also seen recently as a gorgeous ghost-buster in Ram Gopal Varma's Bhoot. Ask her why there was so little of her in the spook show, and she smiles, "You'll have to ask Varma that. Even in Mira Nair's Kamasutra I was finally hardly there."
There's a discernible lack of joy in the absence of challenging roles for this legendary actress who not only redefined screen allure but also set scintillating fashion trends with performances in evergreen films like Umrao Jaan and Silsila.
For Rekha the most interesting part of Koi Mil Gaya is that she gets to play Hrithik Roshan's mom. She had gone on record to state that if she ever had a son he'd be like Hrithik.
She also comes together with Hrithik's father Rakesh Roshan who was her co-star in films like Khubsoorat and Khoon Bhari Maang. As in Khoon Bhari Maang which Rakesh Roshan directed, he appears briefly as the actress' husband and then dies.
Rekha playing mom to today's leading men is nothing new to her. Over two decades ago she had readily played Govinda's mother in Sadaa Suhagan and Sanjay Dutt's mother in Zameen Aasman.
At the moment the most challenging role the actress has is in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani in which Rekha will star as 'Bajirao' Salman Khan's mother. It's Rekha's first true-life role since Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan, and her fourth period epic after Umrao Jaan, Girish Karnad's Utsav and Mira Nair's Kamasutra.
The director and the actress share a mutual admiration. While Rekha has been a fan of Bhansali's works ever since she saw Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Bhansali says, "It's any director's dream to work with Rekhaji."