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The Rediff Interview / Sonali Bendre
'Why would anyone deny Anaahat?'
Syed Firdaus Ashraf | September 25, 2003
She was one of the most promising faces of Bollywood in 1994.
Ten years down the line, she has many films to her credit. Though her only successful films were Diljale and Sarfarosh.
Her latest film Anaahat (Eternity) releases on September 26. This Amol Palekar directed film is her first in Marathi. It is based on a play written by Surendra Verma called Surya Ki Antim Kiran Se Surya Ki Pehli Kiran Tak.
Why this move towards serious cinema?
I have never planned my career. I never wanted to be an actress. Films were an instinctive step, just like modelling and television.
When Amol Palekar asked me to do this role, I was working on Mahesh Manjrekar's Tera Mera Saath Rahen. I jumped at it because I liked the script.
It started as a Hindi film. Amol then shifted to Marathi because it is his mother tongue and he would be more comfortable doing it.
I had no problems -- I am fluent in Marathi since I speak it at home.
There is no reason to compare Bollywood and Marathi films. Both have their own charm.
I play a strong, powerful woman. But I won't call her a feminist. You don't have to be brash or loud to be heard or to make things clear.
She has grace, softness, everything. When people come up with strong, woman-oriented roles where she has to act like a man, I wonder how a woman can do that -- a woman has her own strengths and she cannot match up to a man.
Why would I deny that role?
I play a queen. It is a period film so it has period costumes. We are using real jewellery and I like the look.
Do you think a Marathi film can succeed commercially?
I did this film because of a certain challenge: Could I do it? That was uppermost on my mind. I could.
You have to grow otherwise you will stagnate and die.
I was told that you need certain PR exercises to win awards.
Those who win say awards are not rigged. Those who don't win say it is rigged.
It is too political; I don't understand much.
I believe your parents wanted you to do this film?
Every day life brings joy to you. Frankly, I have led a wonderful life. I was lucky. I thank God for that.
It is time-consuming and a lot of hard work.
So far, I have not got anything interesting.
That is something you should ask an 80-year-old actress. I am just beginning to discover myself. I will answer this question after 10 years.
It is amazing that you get strength. I suppose you will call it growing together. Goldie was a friend, then was a boyfriend and is now a very supportive partner.
Before I left for my honeymoon, Karan [Johar] called to say he needed me for a guest appearance in his film. But I have become choosier now.
I am sure when I restart my career. I will be doing great things. I learnt a lot in all these years.
You may or may not have money in life, but at least the learning experience is always with you.
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