Madhuri Mania
Madhuri Dixit 'The Dhak-Dhak' girl who created waves with her dance number 'Ek Do Teen', 'Dhak-Dhak Karne Laga', 'Choli Ke Pichey' etc is now all set to woo the audience by portraying 'Chandramukhi' in Sanjay Leela Bansali's 'Devdas'. Madhuri has stolen the hearts of millions by her innocent beauty, her sensuous smile and killing looks. She was in the peak of her career when she got married creating a sudden void and doubt in the mind of her fans as to whether it was the end of her career. Madhuri is now excited about 'Devdas' and awaiting its release. According to her this is her best performance. Seasonsindia correspondent Ekta Dhupia finds out more about her career, marriage, husband and future plans.
Madhuri Dixit in Devdas
Excerpts from the interview.

Tell me Madhuri why did you decide to get married when you were in your peak and success was at your feet.

Well maybe because I was in love (laughs). Actually it just happened. Nothing was planned and I had to get married someday, isn't it? It was not as if I was avoiding marriage all these years because I was busy in my career. I had always said that I'd get married the day I met the right man. And that's what I did.

But didn't your step to marry bother you since the film industry tends to write off a heroine the moment she marries. So in a way it would have ended your career.
This is not true. What has marriage got to do with marriage? There are and have been many successful heroines who continued working after marriage like Madhubala, Nargisji, Meena Kumari, nutun and have been very successful. Just because I am married it doesn't mean I have lost my drive to work. My husband understands that I am a professional, and it is upto me to choose what I want to do and how I want to handle my career. I do want to continue acting. Of course, my priorities are different now. I will only do films that get me charged, and are worth my while. I am looking for good scripts and challenging roles.

How was it working with Sanjay Leela Bansali?

It was great. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. He is a perfectionist and deals with every situation in the film extraordinarily. My character in the film is very challenging and I can say that it is one of the best performances I have given.

Tell us more about 'Chandramukhi'.
Well she is epitome of sacrifice and love. I find Chandramukhi's a challenging character to play. She had lived a tough life, seen it all in the raw. And she gave herself to the man she loved without even knowing if he loved her at all. It was tough because in one character you will find shades of all emotions.

How was it working with Shah Rukh Khan?
Oh! Great. He is very professional and at the same time a kid who is full of energy and zest for life.

There were rumours that there was cold vibes between you and Aishwarya on the sets of 'Devdas'?
Who spreads such rumours? It is ridiculous. Ash is a very nice girl. We've met and we've talked. But nothing of that sort - no bad vibes or cold vibes or anything.

Is it true that you asked for some changes in the script of 'Devdas'?
No, no changes. And everybody knows the story of 'Devdas'. What changes can you make in that? And secondly, I don't think Sanjay is someone who will make changes in the script for anyone in the world. Once he knows what the script is, that's it.

Your performance in Pukar is rated among your best. What do you think?

It was one of those films I said 'yes' to instinctively. I loved the character of Anjali. It was different from anything I had done before.It had shades of grey. Anjali was very human, with all her weaknesses and vulnerability. And it was a great experience working with Raj Santoshi. But I think my performance in 'Dendas' is the best perfomance I have ever given.

Tell me what made you accept the role in 'Lajja'.
When Rajji came to me first I was very hesitant. Because there were so many characters in the film. But when I heard the script, I liked it. It was a very interesting character - that of a very strong woman. Of course, all the women in the film, whether it is Mahima, Manisha or Rekha, are strong women. It's about how they take a stand in society and everything. I guess finally I got convinced about doing the film.

Your film with Ajay Devgan, 'Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke', has been delayed for a long time. What went wrong?
Yes, the film has been delayed due to certain reasons. There was a problem on the set earlier and an entire schedule was cancelled. The set was standing and they said the producer would have to break it. Something like that. I'm not really sure. And one major schedule got cancelled. And then one by one everything started going haywire. But now we're shooting again. I hope everything goes ok now.

Do you have any interesting assignments on hand?
Yes, there are a couple, but it's too premature to talk about them.

What does Mr Nene think of your work?
I have shown him just one film of mine, Mrityudand, but he didn't like it. I would like him to see Pukar, and some of my earlier films like Tezaab, Ram Lakhan, Prem Pratigya and Beta. And Devdas ofcourse.

How would you describe your husband, Sriram Nene?

What kind of a person is he? I see him as an extension of myself. What struck me about him straightaway were our common interests. He's a lot like me. Very easygoing, loves outdoor life. It's been great getting to know him

Will you ever consider producing a film to give full play to your talent as an actress?
Never. I don't think I am capable of that. But I might consider directing a film. But there's time for that.

In a recent interview you had said that you have only done 30 percent of what you are capable of.
I do feel that at times, because I am capable of much more. I guess every artiste feels that way. If you are satisfied, you begin to stagnate. I want to grow as an actress everyday. There are so many things you can learn and you can improve upon your skills and abilities everyday.

Source: SeasonsIndia (February 2003)

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