‘One is scared while making a comeback as you want everything to be the best’ – Madhuri Dixit

    She’s back with a bang….yes the perennial dance queen of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit, has donned her dancing shoes yet again for the silver screen after a hiatus of five years, thanks to Yash Raj’s Aaja Nachle.


    Though Madhuri settled for marital bliss across seven oceans in New York, she is still considered hot property in the trade circles. Her tryst with the YRF was in Dil To Pagal Hai and now after a decade, the million-dollar smile owner chose to be associated with them.  


    The actress holds forth. Excerpts.


    Was making a comeback a difficult decision?

    Well, yes one is scared when you make a comeback as everything you do, you want it to be the best. There’s a lot of speculation about what Madhuri chooses And I’m pleased that people are genuinely happy to see me do a movie after a long time so there is a lot of expectation that rest on the shoulders, which can weigh you down sometimes.


    Also, it was a difficult decision as I have two kids now. There was always an apprehension about how they will adjust to Bombay because they have never lived here for along stretch of time. My older son has started speaking in Hindi, singing Hindi songs. They are getting use to the filmy clout.


    How did Aaja Nachle come your way? What made you give a nod to this project?

    It all started with my performance at Filmfare where Yashji said he was interested in working again. Then I happened to meet Aditya Chopra who mentioned about some subject he had in his mind. After that I left for Denver and Adi came over there to narrate the script. I thought it to be a very good subject, its also very relevant to where I am right now and also I have worked with Yashji before in Dil to Pagal Hai and I knew they are extremely professional when say they will be complete a film in four months. I have very high regards for Yashji and I know they will do a good job with their product. They have also worked with married artists before so that made me comfortable.  


    Aaja Nachle is a story of believing in something and standing by it. It’s a very feel good kind of a movie that it’s very relevant in today’s times where you see western culture taking over and our own roots are kind of fading away, especially in case of theater. Some one needs to revive it. < Page Break >


    Your character in Aaja Nachle fights for the same cause. Can you elaborate on it?

    My character Diya is extremely strong and independent. She leaves her village and elopes with her lover and tries to make a life for herself in New York as a choreographer. She has a child but by then she isn’t happy with the way life shapes up. Its then that she comes back to her town where people don’t like her anymore and how she tries to save something that is very close to her heart. Diya believes in the spirit of people and that goodness does exist.

    Post a decade, how’s it working with YRF?

    Yash Raj Films has always been very organized even 10 years back but now I would say they are super organized, they are like 10 steps ahead of what they were and it’s always a delight to work with them again.


    This is your first association with director Anil Mehta.

    It’s funny I always wanted to work with Anil before but in a different capacity, I wanted him as a cameraman for one of my projects and it didn’t happen at that time so I think god had different plans the. It’s been a wonderful experience working with Anil. I used to always think I am the only patient person in the world and that I am very mellow but Anil is much calmer than I am. He understands performances and knows exactly what he wants. He also very flexible and would let me go ahead and do things the way I would want to.


    How was your rapport with Konkana Sen and Kunal Kapoor?

    Konkana is a bright actress and so natural. In facts all the actors in the movie are so natural that I forget I am working in a movie. I just reacted to whatever they were are doing. Even Kunal Kappor who is not a very experienced actor was so professional. Hey all suited their characters so well. Its been a wonderful experience working with them whether its Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Sheorey. All are scenes together is so full of life, there was mutual respect, admiration, affection in the group. It was like a small close knit family. < Page Break >


    Tell us more about the look of the film and your character Diya?

    I play a woman who has spent like a good 10years abroad. She is tough and a fighter, so I think that was the biggest challenge for Manish was to constantly make Diya look the same and not a not a frail and delicate woman.


    A small town called Shamali was created at the Filmcity and at the end was theater Ajanta, which is the pillar of the story. The transformation that takes place in the town in those 10 years that the story narrates is very well depicted.  They did a brilliant job and we were so comfortable in that town that it became a part of our life’s in those four months. Everybody kind of got attached to it.


    Any memorable incident during the shoot of the film?

    It’s a sad scene where I am supposed to be crying because my guru is dying and they bought these little old projector reels and they had Charlie Chaplin on it. I think I must be the only person in the world who has cried while watching Charlie Chaplin on screen. That a memorable scene that sticks out on my mind because I had to just ignore the fact that it’s Charlie Chaplin, watch it and yet cry away.


    Your take on the film’s composers Salim Suleman. Which is  your favourite track?

    Salim Suleman are very talented because this story needed them to have a range of music as it starts in New York and comes to India. They had to be very flexible with the genres they had to offer and have done justice to every song.


    It’s hard to pick my favourite track as all songs have their own charm. Bulbul is very peppy and Indian, there are so many layers to that song, in fact the whole story is captured in it. Then there’s Oh Re Piya, which is a very slow number.


    How was it working with the choreographer, Vaibhavi Merchant?

    It’s been a challenge for Vaibhavi. I have worked with different choreographers like Saroj Khan, Chinni Prakash, Prabhudeva and many others and she had to compete with all the background that I have had and yet make me look different with her style. The music ranges from western dancing, to Indian, to rustic. I must say that she has come off with flying colours and has done a very good job. She is very bright and quick. < Page Break >


    What was the feel after being on film sets after six years?

    The first day I was little apprehensive. Its not as if you are going to forget something but when you are working there is a certain kind of discipline that happens automatically, everything around becomes very mechanical except the performance. Its like well oiled wheels churning round and round but when that stops and you come back you feel am I a little rusty in starting but once I started shooting it was just the first two hours after which I never thought I didn’t feel I was coming back after six years.


    Any changes in the way the industry operates from then till now?

    When I look around I see a lot of changes. Scripts are made before hand; actors get bound script which never used to happen before. Sometimes we used to step on the sets not knowing what we are going to say, dialogues were written on the spot. Now it’s not the same. Actors can prepare in advance, they have everything ready in going for them, and the look is decided before hand. Also, different subjects are being dabbled with because of the multiplexes. The films today know their audiences. Particularly films like Bheja Fry, Khosla Ka Ghosla are wonderful for Indian cinema.


    For Aaja Nachle you have worked with sync sound for the first time.

    I have always dubbed for all my films and I have never heard my own voice because it gets drowned with all the camera noise. Even the studio’s used to be so noisy in those times. But with sync sound there was pin drop silence. I could literally hear my voice for the first time and that was wonderful. I can analyze my own dialogues. Also dubbing does out; it was like doing a movie all over again, trying to recreate what you have done some time back which sometimes is a struggle. < Page Break >


    Are you open to do doing more films post Aaja Nachle?

    I haven’t decided if I would be doing more films or which film I will be doing. Right now I am just living in the moment. These four months have been lovely while I was shooting Aaja Nachle, I feel as if I have achieved something. Everything went off smoothly. Things could have gone wrong, my kids could have got sick and things could have got delayed but I think God has been kind and everything went of well. So right now I am reveling in whatever we have done and not really giving a thought.


    How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life?

    I have my priorities right, my kids are my first concern. Even when I was working, I made sure they were comfortable so I don’t have to worry about anything once I go on the sets.


    Yashji was very sweet, he made a play area incase they incase they come on sets so they can play while I am shooting. Their grandparents are here, my mother in-law came in and supported for sometime, my husband came twice to be with the kids for a good 10-15 days. It’s been great for them as well they have opened up, broadened their horizons and learnt different languages.