After playing the cheerful bubbly girl in several films, Juhi Chawla will be seen exploring grey areas with her characters in her upcoming film Gulab Gang. This is also the first time that the actress will be seen sharing screen space with her once considered rival Madhuri Dixit. The film directed by debutant director Soumik Sen is based on 'Gulaabi Gang' a group of Indian women vigilantes and activities from Bundelkhand. However, Soumik has made the characters larger than life. While Madhuri plays the Gulab Gang leader, Juhi will be playing a politician in the film.
Indiaglitz caught with Juhi Chawla who was excited to share her journey so far..
You are playing a character with grey shades for the first time
When Soumik Sen our director narrated the story and character to me, I thought he had gone crazy. I didn't know how he visualized me in such a role. Will people laugh at me? I had never visualized myself like this ever. From there to today I would say it's very interesting. The credit goes to the director. The dialogues were different. Such films and dialogues were made in the 80's. The way he made me play the character is really interesting. Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time had such dialogues amongst the recent films.
Tell us about your role? Were there any inhibitions as Madhuri was cast in the lead and you were doing the negative character?
Initially yes I did have inhibitions, I play a politician who uses people for her own means. She says something and does something else. She plans every move. I took time to decide to the film. I did the film for few reasons. The script had two main characters. Madhuri is the hero of the film. She will obviously take away all the punch lines and the song and dances. But when the villain of the film enters she takes away all the credit. She adds all the interesting points and spice to the film. She comes with a lot of zing. That's why I took up the role. My role changed the whole view point. I thought that if both me and Madhuri take up the role and do something different together we can have a lot of fun playing our characters. I had to change my view point and see it that way.
Don't you think there will be a tough competition with two top notch heroines
Of course there will be competition some people will come to watch Madhuri and some will come to watch me. So it will be great as we will have more of the audience coming over to watch our film.
Was there any hurdle considering there was rivalry between you and Madhuri earlier
I had to get over the hurdle when I was still deciding the film. She is the hero and has upper hand of the film and is representing goodness where my character would be taking the beating at the end. Can I get over that or put myself aside and say no. I am playing a character and let the character decided the fate. I had to overcome that. I decided to do the film after that.
Did you meet any politicians for the role, what were your preparations
I didn't meet but watched them. How they behave and what is their character their body language. What does power mean to them? I enjoyed doing those small nuances. I copied Soumik when he was reading. There have been different films where there have been one hero and two heroines. I would sit with the director and keep asking him questions. I enjoyed doing the role.
Your character has positive shades as well as negative shades
I knew the next move that Madhuri's character makes in the film. I don't know how to explain you will have to watch the film to understand that. There have been two heroine one hero or two heroines and one hero subjects. I am glad that people will remember this film.
We will set an example for such films. We all know the bonding on screen but how was it bonding with Madhuri off screen
It was good. We didn't know each other earlier as we were both busy with our work. This was the first time we had met. I guess director Soumik realized that so he decided to let us break that ice between us. He called us for a meeting alongwith the crew. Slowly one by one they all left and Soumik also make an excuse and left us together. He must have decided that we will talk about the film or our characters and it so happened we got talking and that broke the ice between us. Had it happened on the sets it would have been different. That meeting of 20 minutes was enough at least to me it mattered a lot. But just knowing her a little personally worked a lot.
How much of the film is inspired by Sampat Pal, heard she is unhappy with the film
Except for the pink and the name Gulab Gang there is nothing similar. It's about Gulab Gang and inspired them who are active in a small place in North India. It is a work of fiction and there's a lot of drama in it.
Do you think its one step above the women centric movie
Yes I do and I respect producer and director for delivering a script like that. When they wrote the script they could have wavered but they have gone with conviction and made this film. They have not brought love interest or a hero to create drama. They have stayed true to their script and what they believed in.
The film is about women empowerment does it talk about any cause
It talks about girl education. Madhuri's character is about a stern lady throughout the film and finally in the end she softens. That is because as a kid she never gets education and has faced a lot of domestic violence and abuse because she is a woman. She's able to earn a little bit and people can't mess with her. She's totally dependent on her family, then her husband's family. So makes sure that every girl child is educated so she can stand on her own feet and earn money for the family.
Why do you think people should watch the film
It is about Gulab Gang and inspired them. In a small place in North India these women have taken up the cudgels to protect women. Men come to them for help. They use lathi when people don't listen. The script is interesting it's a commercial version very entertaining and yet has a message. We are roaming in freedom here in cities but in small villages the story is entirely different. Especially for women who don't have any freedom.
Since the film is about Political party which party will you join
I think about election as I don't know much about politics. As a citizen of today I will not join any political party but support him. I will vote for Narendra Modi. He has changed the infrastructure of Gujarat and brought in so much development. I think we need a leader like him.
You have worked with Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan but you never did a film with Salman Khan, any plans of doing a film with him
Heroines don't choose heroes. I don't know why we never came together. I don't remember. I wish I had got Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
Your children are never seen at any events
I am not a strict mother. I tell them to come but they refuse. If I feel that they can come I can bring them. I tell them to go out and play.
Will you let them join bollywood
Of course If they want I will support them. I want them to enjoy their freedom and their wish and dreams should be fulfilled.