She is one of the greatest actresses to have graced the silver screen. Though Madhuri Dixit has not done many films since making her ‘comeback’ with ‘Aaja Nachle’ in 2007, the number of releases she has had in the recent past indicate that she is looking at being more active in films now. In this interview, she talks about replacing Sridevi in ‘Kalank’, collaborating with Saroj Khan for a song in the film, the reason behind releasing her film on Netflix and doing more Marathi films after ‘Bucket List’.
Sridevi was supposed to play the role that you have played in Kalank.
It was a very emotional experience doing a role which was originally written for her. Sridevi was everybody’s favourite. Her demise came as a shock to us. Karan (Johar) had been a friend for a long time. We had spent so much time together on the sets of reality show we judged together. I loved the script when Abhishek (Varman) narrated it to me for the first time. The characters in ‘Kalank’ have several layers to them. Life is just not black and white, life is also grey sometimes. The film taps into the grey areas of its characters.
You have a solo dance number in the film in the form of “Tabah Ho Gaye”.
“Tabah Ho Gaye” comes at very important juncture in the film. It is a very emotional piece. Bahar Begum is not like Chandramukhi or the other characters I have played in the same space. She is very reserved. Saroj (Khan) ji and Remo (D’Souza) have collaborated on the song. I think this might be the first time two choreographers have collaborated for a song. Remo mostly does contemporary songs but with me, he has always done classical songs. He did “Hamari Atariya” with me in ‘Dedh Ishqiya’.
Saroj Khan recently said in an interview that she has not been getting work.
I would say this too shall pass. She is so talented and nobody can take that away from her. We asked her to choreograph this song not because she was looking for work but because she deserved it and we needed somebody like her for the song.
You recently produced a Marathi film ’15 August’. Why did you release it on Netflix and not in theatres?
We were already working in the digital space with ‘Dance With Madhuri’. We have a website and an app. It is an e-learning platform. The next logical step was to producing a film. We produced this film and we had two options – releasing in theatre or putting it up on a streaming platform. We opted for the latter as Marathi films have a niche audience and there are so many films releasing every week. In such a scenario, reaching out to the audience can be a little difficult. We faced a lot of issues while releasing ‘Bucket List’. With Netflix, you are reaching to 190 countries. The content you make travels across the globe.
Do you plan to act in a Marathi film after ‘Bucket List’?
Yes, I got a few offers but I got busy with shooting for my Hindi films. Now, after ‘Kalank’ I hope to go through a few scripts and if I like one of those, I will definitely do a Marathi film again.