1) You have such a huge fan following …did this contribute to your coming back in any way?
It is definitely the love of my fans that made me want to come back … but more importantly, I think I was waiting for the right role and the right director to make a comeback with. Everything just clicked and felt right when I discussed English Vinglish with Gauri Shinde (director). I met her and this impressive girl just floored me!
2) 15 years you have not faced a camera on a ‘professional’ level…butterflies in ur stomach when u were in front of the camera?
3) First time with a female director…how was the bonding and the experience?
I met Gauri and just fell in love with her. She has a lot of spunk, intelligence and knows what she wants and how to extract it. She and I are friends beyond the film. Even today, we do call each other up every couple of days. I am very possessive of Gauri as a film-maker. She better cast me in her next film and the next film and the next film.
4) Cud u relate to the character that Gauri had written? Did any of the situations happen to you?
Shashi Godbole is an extremely endearing character. A housewife we all have probably met at some point of time in our lives. So yes, it was definitely easy to relate to. Her journey towards confidence and increased self-esteem is a graph we all follow as we acquire new skill sets and add new facets to our personality.
5) The movie was such a huge hit….was one of the reasons that many could relate to it…..the relatable insecurity…
I think everyone likes the idea of a person working in a determined manner towards a goal of self-improvement. So Shashi’s struggle with the issue of diffidence over not knowing English at first and then overcoming it with perseverence and grit is a success story. What also worked well with the audience was the simple, natural treatment of the film.
6) When you signed on teh dotted line, were u skeptical abt the box office collections…the audience not reacting positively…the fate of the movie
I never bother myself with such considerations, honestly. I just need to believe in the concept of the film. The character must appeal to me, the plot must grip me somewhere. And all these factors fell into place with English Vinglish. Having said that, I am looking forward to the film’s world television premiere on Zee Cinema at 8 PM on December 29. The channel has aggressively promoted the film almost like a theatrical release. I’m sure everybody’s going to watch it and I would like to know the response!
7) One unforgettable mad incident that u n gauri will not forget that happened during teh shoot?
Nothing specific comes to mind as such. But I always stop Gauri from binge-eating … just like I stop Boney from over-indulging, I stop Gauri from going overboard with french fries and oily, unhealthy stuff. She protests at first but I think she knows that its for her own good.
8) U have a fantastic comic streak…will we get to see the madcap sridevi in the enar future?
Why not! I hope the right kind of project comes by that allows me to do some light hearted comedy. It’s a genre I am at home in.
9) Has Bollywood changed over the years..for better or for worse?
There’s tremendous growth technically. Things are pacier, people make films in no time. A higher level of professionalism has set in. People stick to deadlines and manage budgets smartly. Film-makers have begun to experiment beyond the stereotypical subjects and a lot of interesting work is happening.
10) Rate the actors of today.
I think Vidya is simply brilliant. Such an effortless actor. I haven’t really seen Barfi but I am very confident Priyanka Chopra is outstanding in it, she’s so impressive overall. Kareena is very very beautiful and a complete natural at acting too.