The actress on the two films that matter to her
She came. She saw. She conquered.
, Devdas.The previous version of the same had the legendary Vyjayanthimala portraying Chandramukhi as the courtesan besotted with Devdas.
Then she got married. A lull followed.
Now Madhuri Dixit is back with her next two films poised to get her back into the limelight.
In Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, Madhuri plays Shah Rukh Khan's wife falsely accused of cheating on him. In the making for years, the film is scheduled for a May 24 release.
However the film the actress is really banking on is Sanjay Leela Bhansali's
The actress holds forth:
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas and the previous two are entirely different. His mounting, eye for detail, passion all helped raise the movie to an absolutely different level altogether.
As far as Devdas is concerned, I would call it a true triumph of the human spirit. Sanjay Leela Bhansali hasn't compromised at any point despite all the hardships that came his way. I think Devdas has been worth everything.
On the controversies surrounding Devdas:
Too much has already been said about the sets and the surrounding controversies. I have only this comment to make: Sanjay's mounting being larger than usual had a greater number of technicians on the set than any usual one would.
Normally there would be maybe about 80-90 lightmen on any set. This one had close to 400! So the probability of something going wrong was obviously that much more.
On working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali:
Working with Sanjay was a dream. He gives you a lot of scope and leeway with the role's interpretation. Since he has the whole film worked out in his mind, he is aware of the length of the scene. He knows exactly what he wants from each scene in order to keep the storyline crisp.
On working with Aishwarya Rai in a parallel role:
I was never really aware that Aishwarya had worked with Sanjay before. They might have felt more comfortable with each other. As far as I was concerned I always knew my role and was always comfortable.
On playing Chandramukhi:
Chandramukhi is a very poignant, very feminine character. If I were to compare this role, I would probably compare with Rekhaji's role in Muqaddar Ka Sikander.
As his treatment of the novel is itself different, the obvious comparison between Vyjayanthimalaji and me will not arise. The previous Chandramukhi was her interpretation of the role. This portrayal is the result of our combined interpretation. As far as direct comparison with her goes, I am sure that will not arise.
Being a dancing girl's role, my Kathak training stood me in good stead. The song Kahe chhed mohe was choreographed by the legendary Birju Maharaj. I have sung the kavith channs for this mujra. It has a different, more classical feel compared to the regular film ones.
On giving Sanjay Leela Bhansali ultimatums:
It has been widely reported that I asked Sanjay to wind up the film by a certain date. Who am I to issue ultimatums? From the moment I had signed up for this role we had worked out the dates and schedules. Some were overshot. I have had to postpone my departure to America where my husband lives, in order to complete my work.
There was no hard and fast rule governing my departures. This constant travelling between India and America has given rise to the rumours. The press even reported I was pregnant. I should have had my baby by now!
On losing out roles after marriage:
Despite the fact that I am now married and spend half my time in America with my husband, I don't feel I am missing out on good roles. I have cut down on my assignments and am doing only one or two movies a year. Even at this point I have directors coming to me with scripts.
I have never shied away from doing different roles. I have done Sangeet and Prahaar, while doing a Ram Lakhan or Tezaab.
At this point I am only looking for roles that will challenge and excite me.
On Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam:
My role is that of a very innocent girl. She is a very devoted friend, devoted sister and family member, but somehow she is not a very good wife. She has been brought up in a very protected family. She is not a very romantic person --- she is simple and straightforward. That is where conflict arises between her and her husband.
I don't know if there is any change in my performance. Sometimes when a film takes such a long time, it affects the film's prospects. I do feel the film is still looking good. The story is strong, which will help.
Actually the film is a remake of the Tamil Thotta Chinungi. When they approached me to do the film they showed me the original version. I liked Revathy in the original version; I think she is a brilliant performer.
On working with Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan:
It is always a delight to work with Shah Rukh and Salman Khan. I've worked with both of them in quite a few films. With Salman I've done Saajan, Dil Tera Aashiq and Hum Aapke Hain Koun. With Shah Rukh it was Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Anjaam and Koyla. We share a very good rapport.
In Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam Shah Rukh plays a rather complex person, who has a lot of romantic notions but can never express himself. Salman is an extrovert, the way he is in real life.
The trouble starts when the wifes' friend, played by Salman, comes on the scene. The husband gets suspicious and jealous. That happens because of his inability to express himself. He keeps imagining things but never says anything.
On doing married woman roles in Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke, Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam:
Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam was offered to me six years ago. I wasn't married then. It is a very interesting role, one I didn't want to refuse.
With inputs by Seema Sinha, India News Feature Service