'Alia is very clear about what she likes and what she does not like.'
'She responds with her gut.'
Soni Razdan, who started acting over 40 years ago when she starred in Aparna Sen's 36 Chowringhee Lane, is delighted that she is still getting to play interesting characters at this point in her career.
Her latest film is Raja Krishna Menon's war film Pippa, also featuring Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur.
Does Soni take her star daughter Alia Bhatt's advice before signing new projects?
'Our biggest challenge is that we get very little time together because we live in separate houses. When she was living with us, there was lot more discussion. These days, mostly she gives me a video call in the morning to say hello to her daughter. So that is my interaction with her," the actress tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh.
The audience has been seeing you portray some wonderful roles. Are you enjoying this phase as an actor?
Yes. Different kinds of roles are coming my way now.
These are the roles that I probably always wanted to do.
Had I been younger in today's times, I think I would have got many more different roles.
But anyway, I am going with my flow.
It is something to be grateful for because at this age, very few actresses get work and now suddenly, in our country, we are getting more like an avalanche.
Roles are just tumbling down and so many actresses are benefiting from it, actresses from my age group.
So I think it is wonderful. I think we are very, very, blessed.
You started your career with films like 36 Chowringhee Lane, but when you are working with young set of actors like Ishaan Khatter, what was your takeaway? How was your Pippa experience?
It was wonderful because the actors are so good.
I mean, we were really bad when we started out in comparison.
You know, things grow with each generation. So, I am like, Okay, I have to really up my game now, be better and better.
Also, there is a certain expectation which comes when you have been in the business for a while, you know, but I never think of that.
I get a script, I read it, I get excited, I learn my lines and it is in that process where I then become the character.
How was it working with Raja Krishna Menon?
Raja sir was a great, great asset because when a director knows what he or she wants, half the job is done.
Aparna (Sen) was also a director like that.
She was very clear. She would be like, 'No, we have to do it this way'.
Raja is a little more, I would say, he knows what he wants, but he allows you a lot of space to create, to get there, to create that personality and fit it in with your own and breathe life into that character.
So yeah, I really enjoyed working with the whole team.
I didn't want to leave because they were still shooting.
I said, 'What the hell!'
But it was a great experience and I have very fond memories.
When we interview star children, we always ask them if they discuss their projects with their parents. But I would like to know if you ever discuss your project with your daughter, Alia Bhatt?
(Laughs) Sometimes, yes.
But our biggest challenge is that we get very little time together because we live in separate houses.
When she was living with us, there was lot more discussion.
These days, mostly she gives me a video call in the morning to say hello to her daughter. So that is my interaction with her.
It probably begins and ends there.
But yeah, whenever we get the chance, definitely, because I think we have always been that family who sat down at the dining table and never talked about movies but when it comes to a project, there is always a discussion. There are certain things she shares and takes opinions.
But one thing about Alia is that she is very clear about what she likes and what she does not like.
She responds with her gut.
It is not about the size of the project, not even about the size of her role. It is about how she feels towards the project and what she feels that is going to give her as an actor.
I think that decision she makes more or less herself, not even with her management team.
How did you feel about her winning a National Award for Gangubai Kathiawadi?
Obviously, I am a proud mom.