Twenty-seven years after the release of that iconic song, Madhuri Dixit Nene is still the dhak-dhak girl, as she continues to leave audiences enthralled with her stunning performances. After making a successful foray into Marathi cinema with Bucket List, she’s all set to be seen in Total Dhamaal and Kalank. In a chat with the Deccan Chronicle, Madhuri gets candid about her personal life, her husband Sriram Nene, and the choices she’s made.
How has your approach towards acting changed over the years?
The process remains the same. The only thing that’s changed is that we now get bound scripts — and that’s a welcome change. We never had that before.
Since you are a terrific dancer, your fans want to see your dance in all your films. Is there a pressure to introduce a song irrespective of whether the plot demands it or not?
It’s crazy — if I dance, they say ‘she dances in all her films,’ and if I don’t dance, they ask ‘why is there no dance?’ Either way, I am questioned. A song should flow with the story, and should not be forced. If it comes naturally, then it’s fine with me.
How is life at 53? Or age is just a number for you?
Absolutely, age is just a number. You are as old as you feel. My passion for dancing helps me stay fit — it’s great for your mind, body and soul. You have to look after yourself, no matter what your age is.
When you started off in the 80’s, you did a lot of small roles. Did you ever think that you’d eventually become a star?
No, I never thought that. I did those small roles because I didn’t know if I wanted to continue acting. Everybody in my house is well-educated. I was a science student myself, and I wanted to study microbiology. But after Abodh, I became interested in acting. Since I was not from a film family, I didn’t know how to go about things. I did films that didn’t work, but I got to learn a lot.
What does stardom mean to you? How are you treated at home?
Stardom is confined to the studios for me. Once I am back home, I am just like anybody else. My mom still shouts at me! I don’t get any star treatment, which is great, because that’s what keeps me grounded.
Do your kids and your husband watch your films?
They do watch my films, but I find it funny to watch my own films with them; I tell them to change the channel. I’m not embarrassed, I feel shy. But my kids have enjoyed watching some of my films.
How has your husband Sriram Nene supported you in pursuing a profession that is so demanding?
My husband encourages me to do better; he has always supported me. He has said, ‘Do what you feel like, I am with you,’ so it’s a great partnership that we have. If he feels something is wrong, he is very frank about it.
Does he have any insecurities, considering you’ve romanced all the top actors on screen?
No, he is very secure as a person. He is a heart surgeon, and he has seen death up close, so these things are meaningless to him. He believes life is too short, and every moment should be enjoyed. And that’s what we do. We have such varied interests. We don’t just go to parties, we enjoy each other’s company as well. We love to do things by ourselves.
Like your contemporaries, are you keen on writing an autobiography?
Not really; I think I have a lot more to do before anyone writes my biography.
What’s the status of your project with Priyanka Chopra?
It’s not a film, it’s a series. Television is a very unusual medium; nothing happens overnight, things take time. But it’s a work in progress. It’s not a biopic, but it’s loosely based on my experiences in Denmark. There will be a lot of dramatisation.