Madhoo on staying away from Bollywood: Did not get the respect I wanted

Bollywood actor Madhoo will make her TV debut with Star Plus show Aarambh as Queen Sambhavija. The actor, in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com talks about still being known as Roja, and how she desires to create a new identity. She also talks about her daughters and dealing with depression after marriage.

Written by Sana Farzeen | Mumbai | Published:July 15, 2017 12:58 pm
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Bollywood actor Madhoo, known for her roles in movies like Phool Aur Kaante and Roja, will soon make her debut on TV with Star Plus show Aarambh, while playing Queen Sambhavija. As we caught up with the actor, she shares that she stayed away from the showbiz as she did not get the respect she desired in terms of roles. Madhoo also opens up on criticism from her teenage daughters, her stint in the southern film industry, her days of depression and her hopes to create a new benchmark for herself.

Back into the limelight, media, fans – how does it feel?
It really feels great to be back in the space. But I will enjoy more when the audience will react to my work. As of now, it’s surreal but I would like to know how the reality looks.

You are still remembered as Roja. Is that a high or it takes away your hard work from your other films?
It’s great that I am still remembered as Roja, and quite blessed to have that film in my kitty. But yes, I am a creative person and I pine to do more and more work. I have worked in the southern industry, done some wonderful roles but it is my desire now to create a new benchmark, a new identity for myself.

Were you apprehensive about making a comeback through TV and not a Hindi film?
Well, I had my inhibition towards TV but I did not take up Hindi films all these while, for I was not getting what I wanted. I deserved a certain kind of respect in terms of roles offered to me but I did not get that. I feel honoured that Goldie approached me with such a powerful role. The role will give me a huge canvas to explore, it is on Star Plus, 9 pm prime time slot, written by Bahubaali writer K V Prasad – what else do I need? It would be foolish of me to wait for films while refusing something like this.

You say you did not get the respect you deserved to, did that develop any hard feelings?
Not at all. I am a content person and I cannot be running after things that weren’t in my destiny. I don’t regret any of my choices and am happy in my space.

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Female actors age very fast in Bollywood. Will you be ready to play a mother to any top actors?
I am known to play the ‘young mother’ in south, to newcomers and young actors. I will be fine with that in Bollywood too but if they ask me to play mother to Ajay Devgn, I will have to think twice.

How excited are your daughters to see you on TV?
They are excited to finally see my work. I am really nervous, as today’s kids are hard to please and I really want to impress them. These girls are really critical and have a lot of opinions, and I am waiting to see their reaction.

Will you be open to doing more TV now?
Why not, if the roles are meaty. Here, I would like to add, I love watching chat shows and would love to do something on that lines. I want to interview people from all walks of life and get to know their real side, dark side, their weak moments etc.

You talk about wanting to know people’s weak moments. Did you ever feel it all losing through your hands?
I was on a career high when I got married and moved to South Mumbai, where I knew none, nor anyone knew me. I was depressed but the family I got married was a wonderful one, and they kept me sane. Then I decided to let go of my yesteryear, and start fresh. I soon had friends and a great life, for I chose to connect with people at human level than being a celebrity. That’s how I learned, to live a fulfilled life.

You are quite a positive person. What’s your mantra in life?
I feel it’s most difficult to become a nobody from somebody, but if you can attain that, then you can become anybody.

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