Actress Juhi Chawla, who will be seen in her maiden negative role in ‘Gulaab Gang’, says she was sceptical to take up the film as she was worried about the audience reaction to her shade of grey.
The film is inspired by a real-life group of women activists in the Bundelkhand region and talks about empowerment of women.
“When the director narrated me the script, I liked it but felt was he sure of casting me in this role… Has he mistaken me for some other actress. I was scared and worried if I would be able to do this role… Would I be accepted. Later on when I kept reading it (story), I got convinced I could do it… I tried my best,” Juhi said.
“I did not realise I would be able to play villain on screen. I hope it does well. Before this film, I was never offered a negative role… I am happy this film came my way and I did it,” she said.
Also, Juhi will be seen sharing screen space with her once-rival Madhuri Dixit for the first time in the film.
In the 1990s both were contemporaries and never worked together. Juhi thinks it is less likely that they will get another chance to work together in future, as the story of ‘Gulaab Gang’ is very strong and such projects are not churned out in bulk.
“I said yes to the film because of two reasons – Madhuri was in it and secondly the script. She is a wonderful actress and good looking,” Juhi said. Earlier too, Juhi was offered a film with her, which she refused.
“There were times when I had the chance to work with Madhuri, but we were rivals back then and I was like, ‘I will not work with Madhuri’… There will be comparisons. But when this offer came I couldn’t say a no to it,” the 46-year-old actress added.
It was debut director Soumik Sen who managed the casting coup and help break ice between the two actresses on the sets.
Both Juhi and Madhuri feel education is the key. “The film is set in rural background. The idea of this film is to empower women and get themselves educated so that they can fight violence and abuse,” she added.
Co-written by director Sen and producer Anubhav Sinha, the film releases in March this year.
The film also stars Mahie Gill and Shilpa Shukla. Gulabi Gang is a womens’ group from Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region that works for well-being of women facing violence domestic and social problems.