Actress Juhi Chawla says she turned down a lot of big film offers at the peak of her career as she thought the industry would shut down without her.
“When you were at your peak, you stop taking chances, you become indispensable and think that without you the industry will shut down as you are young and successful. You make foolish decisions. I did not do couple of films which then became blockbusters,” Juhi said.
The actress revealed that she had refused films like ‘Raja Hindustani’, ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, ‘Judaai’ among others.
“It is all in the past, so it is ok to talk about it and you learnt from it. I think most of them were two heroine projects, so I did not do it. I am responsible for Karisma Kapoor’s stardom and she doesn’t know about it,” she said.
When asked if she regrets not doing those films, Juhi says, “At that time I was still working and I had project after project. Now when I look back, I can see that I was doing silly thing, but that was the phase I was in and you end up doing all these things (rejecting films).”
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The vivacious actress seems to be experimenting with roles now, but at the same time she plays it safe. “I still play safe somewhere. I do roles and films within certain parameters. This (‘Gulaab Gang’) was something new and different to me, but I enjoyed it,” she said.
Juhi and Madhuri Dixit are pitted against each other for the first time in ‘Gulaab Gang’. When the makers came to Juhi, she was surprised but found it interesting.
“It (‘Gulaab Gang’) had fiery dialogues. The character is mean, manipulative, little quirky, I had not done something like this before. I was sure people will not believe me as I am not like that character.
“I asked them to rewrite the script, they changed a few things, like they gave a reason for my character to be this way, but the whole zing of the character went and I felt we had killed the film. So we went with what was written initially,” said the former Miss India.
Juhi plays a politician in the film and for reference she saw pictures of real life politicians like Sushma Swaraj, Sonia Gandhi, Mamta Banerjee and others to know how they look and followed the film’s director Soumik Sen.
Her contemporaries like Karisma, Madhuri and others are still in action but she says there is no competition. “Now there is no such competition as such. I am amazed to see them around now. I worked with Manisha Koirala in ‘I AM’ and it was great. I never thought we would meet and be there in the industry even after so many years. I feel something has not changed as they are around even as the rest of the crop of personalities like directors, producers, etc have changed. But few of them are here and I am happy about it,” Juhi added.