'I'm not going to be a Cadbury chocolate'
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'I'm not going to be a Cadbury chocolate'

Full of life and all of heart, presenting Juhi Chawla in the judge's seat in a tete a tete with Gautam Hegde.

tv Updated: Feb 16, 2009 17:11 IST
Gautam Hegde
Gautam Hegde
Hindustan Times

Full of life and all of heart, presenting Juhi Chawla in the judge's seat in a tete a tete with Gautam Hegde.

Were you nervous slipping into the judge's role for Jhalak Dikhla Jaa?
Yes, I was nervous because I have seen reality shows and the judges, at times, are so strict. I'm not a person with strong opinions. I'm not blunt. So seeing myself in the judge's role was tough.

Any plans?
Well, for starters, I'm not going to be a Cadbury chocolate. I don't want to be boring. Being an artiste myself, I know exactly where this bunch comes from. So my views will have that take, which people may not obviously notice. There will be insights, coated with humor, and anecdotes from my career.

You are the only 'soft' judge alongside the sharp-tongued Vaibhavi Merchant and Saroj Khan.
Good for me! Ha ha ha! But honestly, I have myself gone through times when, while dancing, my knees would be knocking beneath my skirt and my teeth would be clattering, as I struggled to get a step right.

Do you have any anecdotes related to Saroj Khan?
Sarojji doesn't dance. She is dance herself. I remember during Aaina and all those movies we did together, there were times her team would tell her, "Sarojji, aap kar ke batao." Then, we would all sit and watch this cute, round lady tie her dupatta and.. (puts her hand on her heart). She is amazing. I wish I could dance like her!

Judges these days have a quirky ceetis or Rs 501 or a wrist band to give the performers. Do you have a personalised gift handy?
I haven't thought of it really. But I must come up with something.

You could try giving out the golden helmets of your Kolkata Knight Riders. It would be good promotion.
Ha ha ha! Let's see how much of an interest the world takes in our team.

Would you have done the show if approached as a contestant?
(Thinks) Hmm, you know what? If it was a singing competition, and I were to contest, I would have jumped at the chance.

Reality shows have a drama element. Will we see you walk out?
Drama chahiye to karenge, kyun nahin? (Giggles)

Are your kids excited about the show?
They don't know yet. My younger one is just about five years. The older one, Jhanvi, I'm so sure, will come up and say, "I always knew it!" Kids are so smart these days.

Unlike cinema which can hide your flaws, a television camera is brutally honest as it zooms in on a close up. Will you be careful about certain angles?
Oh, I don't attach much importance to these things. My hair dresser will take pains to straighten my hair and I will
forget and run my fingers through it and mess it up again -- and I won't care. As long as what I do and the product is interesting -- all this doesn't matter!

Are you open to a meaty comic series on TV?
I don't mind the medium but I'm picky about the writer and the director. The script and the way a show is made is important.

Weren't you a part of a show called Mahashakti?
Oh that was a long time ago. And it wasn't a TV show. It was meant to be a film which never got completed and they put it out as a TV series. Everyone was worried thinking it might give the impression that I wanted to do television.

You did a brief cameo in Baa Bahu aur Baby. Did you enjoy it?
It was so interesting to see the whole unit bond so well -- they were like one big family. It reminded me of times when we would go on outdoor schedules and laugh and talk together.

Your IPL partner and good friend Shah Rukh Khan has come up with TV production. Any such plans?
Oh, let him do all the work! These days I need to chill out after I shoot for just seven days, unlike earlier when I would shoot all the time and still not get tired.

First Published: Feb 16, 2009 13:50 IST