Madhuri Dixit celebrated her 51st birthday on May 15, but the actress had a working birthday as she is promoting her debut Marathi film Bucket List. When we caught up with her at a city hotel, we realised that the hectic promotion schedule hasn’t taken a toll on either her million dollar smile or her energy.
As we sat down to chat, we couldn’t help but ask her if she missed being with her family on her birthday and the actress promptly replied, “It’s okay. I have had so many years of being with the family on my birthday. Working birthdays are also good.”
Bucket List, directed by Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar, has the actress playing Madhura Sane, a housewife, who one day decides to fulfill her long wishlist. Madhuri said that the character was quite relatable. “She is a homemaker — a wife, a mother of two kids, taking care of her in-laws and her parents. She is someone who is lost in her own life but is happy. Just the fact that she has a teenaged kid and a small one, was so relatable for me. Even the problems she is having in her life — the issues she has with her kids, the equation between parents and kids that we see these days – well, I could connect with everything,” said the actress.
Bucket List also stars Sumeet Raghavan, Shubha Khote, Renuka Shahane, Dilip Prabhavlkar, Vandana Gupte, Ila Bhate, Pradeep Velankar and Milind Phatak. Releasing on May 25, it’s being produced by Dark Horse Cinemas Pvt Ltd, Dar Media Pvt Ltd and Blue Mustang Creations Pvt Ltd. The film is being presented by Dharma Productions.
This is Madhuri’s first project not just with Tejas but also with Sumeet, who plays her onscreen husband. The actress felt that while working with new people, she gets to learn a lot. “They have different takes on how they are going to play the character, how they are vibing with other characters. Sometimes you learn a lot, because you may have imagined a scene in a certain way and want to enact it that way but when you go to the set, either the director or the co-actor may suggest something else. They might say, ‘Let’s try it this way’ and you may wonder, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t think of it this way’. This becomes quite interesting. You learn everyday, just like we learn in our lives everyday,” she said.
After working in Hindi film industry for so many years, Madhuri is making her debut in Marathi films. So did she notice any difference in the two industries? “I just joke that when I was in Bollywood, it was like my sasural and this is like my mayka. You know how it is when you go to your parent’s place? Your mom cooks everything for you and keeps feeding you — I was pampered like that on the set. It was like coming home because Maharashtrians love me,” Madhuri said.
The actress completed three decades in Bollywood. Pondering over it, she said, “When I look back, I am happy with whatever I have done, the choices I have made. I have no regrets in life. There have been many turning points, taking U-turns and again going ahead, which actually makes life more adventurous. I look at it very fondly.”
And what’s been her biggest learning? “I don’t know if it’s learning but my mother always taught me, ‘Being an actor is just another profession’. Like you are a journalist, I am an actor, she (pointing out to another girl) is a coordinator. There is nothing special about it. When you are working, you are engrossed in your character and once you are out of it, you are just an ordinary person. So whenever I go home, I am treated like a normal person. My husband always says, ‘We all wear our pants, one leg at a time. Just because we are stars doesn’t mean something different will happen,” said the actress who is currently shooting for Abhishek Varman’s multi-starrer film Kalank and will also be seen in Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal.
The actress recently launched her production house RnM with her husband Dr Shriram Nene and even announced her first Marathi film project 15 August. The film will be directed by Swapnaneel Jayakar. When asked how much does she, as a producer, bring to the table while discussing a film with the director, she said, “As a producer, I contributed my 30 years of experience while selecting a script. I wanted my first Marathi production to be an entertaining film. I did not want to take up a heavy or bold subject. I wanted a family entertainer which everyone can watch, have a good time and laugh. We heard a lot of scripts but we kept coming back to 15 August.”
She added that as a production house, they want to make all kinds of films. “That will give our production house versatility. I would like to do films on serious, message-based and bold subjects but we wanted to start with an entertaining film. I won’t be present on the set to look at the acting etc but definitely the casting, how the characters are etched out, etc,” the actress said.
With growing sons, does she choose her scripts keeping them in mind and take up films they would be able to watch? “As a producer, I might make a film, which they perhaps may not be able to watch because it could be of an adult theme, not suitable for kids,” she said, adding, “But by and large, I want to make films that can be watched by all kinds of audience. When you make adult films, you restrict your audience. However, if I feel strongly enough for a subject, I will definitely make it,” she said before concluding.