Before she played the antagonist in “Gulaab Gang” and impressed movie goers, Juhi Chawla had won hearts in the film industry with bubbly, girl-next-door roles during the 1990s. The veteran actor says she thought of herself as “the best villain ever”, but found it strange that movie makers did not approach her for more such roles.
“After ‘Gulaab Gang’, believe me, I thought I was the best villain ever! I had such a fun time portraying that role that I would have loved to do some more of that but strangely not many people came after that to say let’s do something black like that,” Juhi said.
Known for her work in films like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Bol Radha Bol, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, Darr, Ishq and My Brother Nikhil, Juhi tried to give a twist to her work portfolio by essaying a negative role as a corrupt and cold politician in Gulaab Gang.
Her work was widely appreciated and her performance earned rave reviews with many critics calling it her career’s best performance.
Now, the 50-year-old, who is the ambassador of the first edition of the Women of India Organic Festival, says she is playing a character close to it in a yet-untitled film where she is essaying a dark grey character.
“I’m quite enjoying it,” said the actor, who is experimenting with her work and also ventured into the digital world with the web series The Test Case.
It is the “not bound by convention” factor which attracts her to the medium, said Juhi.
“Web series is an interesting space. The shooting for the series was just like a film shooting and in this I just had a guest appearance, a very strong personality that I played so I really really enjoyed that.
“What’s nice about web series is that they are not bound by convention and when it’s a damn good story you have the liberty to say it well and shoot it well and release it on the web so my doors are open. I don’t mind at all when there is something very interesting I would like to do a web series,” she said.
Having worked in the film world during a time when Bollywood had its unique elements like songs and dancing around the trees, and conventional roles for women and men, Juhi believes that today the industry is losing its uniqueness by aping Hollywood.
“I’m very happy with the way our Indian films are. In fact, I think in trying to ape the west, trying to be cool, trying to be with it and modern, we are losing some of our uniqueness. I don’t see the Indian songs and dances on screen anymore or very little.
“The innocence of our films, the fun and games, the naach gaane, I loved that about our Hindi films. I really don’t want that our films should ape the west,” she added.
After filming for a cameo in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zero, Juhi is presently shooting for a psychological thriller in which she is playing a “very different character from my usual happy go lucky persona”.