'I would love to pass 'Dream Girl' title to Aishwariya'
Hema Malini will once again share screen space with Amitabh Bachchan in Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap after six years, after Ravi Chopra's Baabul. She will also be doing a cameo in Aarakshan, again with Amitabh.
She talks about her upcoming film, the Big B, and directing daughter Esha Deol.
Tell us about your role in Bbuddah.
I play Amitji's wife in the film, but we are separated. It's basically about how later we meet and everything is revived. It's a nice role and I accepted it because it's always nice to keep coming back on screen (smiles).
You have acted with Amitabh Bachchan in quite a number of films. Do you see any change in him from then to now?
There have been no changes in Amitji in so many years. He is a dedicated actor and can pull off any role easily whether it's Paa or something else. It's always a pleasure to work with a talented actor like him. He's got the talent to act, sing and dance which is a rare combination. I have even seen him playing sitar (instrument). He is also very lucky because he keeps getting good roles. We heroines don't get good roles. I feel very jealous about that (smiles).
Image: Hema Malini
Photographs: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
'I am glad that I am able to do everything'
You have been carrying the title of 'dream girl' for many years. Which is the one actress that you would wish to pass on the title?
Every actress is more than a dream girl today. They are very high and way above it. They all have made a name for themselves, especially Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. I will give her the title. But she will have to pay me a crore for it (jokes).
You are an actor, dancer and a director. How do you balance it?
I am glad that I am able to do everything. It's tough because you have to look after the house, family, children, acting, dance and production. Sometimes I go mad but I am happy that I am still able to do it.
Being a director how do you think the industry has changed in so many years?
Youngsters are coming up with so many new ideas and doing small budget films, which is good. Even my daughter thinks of some subjects that are strange and different. But when I discussed it with some writers they said it's fantastic. So I think young people are able to think something different. It's great!
Image: Hema Malini in Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap
'Ahana doesn't want to do the regular commercial films'
Your daughter Ahana is interested in direction, so what is she learning from you?
Ahana does lots of things, that's the problem with her. She is a fashion designer and is also writing some scripts. She doesn't want to do the regular commercial films. So she has decided that only if she really likes something, then she will take it up. Plus she is getting acting offers too.
Can you talk a bit about your film Tell Me O Kudha?
It was a good experience shooting in Turkey, Bangkok and Goa. There are four different stories in the film which will culminate into one. In short, it's a story about a girl's journey tracing her roots.
Lastly have you spoken to any officials after a leopard from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park strayed into your bungalow last month?
Yes. I have spoken to the state Forest minister Patangrao Kadam. I am going to take up this issue. I am concerned about animals as we are encroaching on their place. I would want everyone to support this, so that animals are safe. I believe we should not encroach on their place. The incident shows the extent to which we have encroached into the animal's space. We have taken over their territory. It is important to know where the leopard went. If it goes into public place then people might kill it. When I checked with the authorities they said he is safe and went back. We get to hear about reports that when leopards come out in public people get nervous seeing them and kill them.
I am more concerned about animals as we are encroaching their place and spoiling it. As we can see it in Film City and at the National Park, it is not good. I have heard that illicit liquor is made in that area and because of that they break the fence and go in, and the Mumbai police is not doing anything. The government's job is to fence the entire Sanjay Gandhi National Park but they have not done it yet.
Image: Ahana Deol and Hema Malini perform
Photographs: REUTERS/ Pawan Kumar