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Madhuri looks beyond home

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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Monday, December 04, 2006
Madhuri Dixit speaks from LA on her comeback plans.

Everyone is truly excited about your return in a Yashraj Films' project?
Yes, my comeback film has a bit of everything in it. Hopefully it will be something that people will like to see me back in.

Why a film directed by cinematographer Anil Mehta?
Firstly, when they narrated the script to me I was deeply excited. I felt this would be the right film to do after a long break. The way the story is written is quite interesting. I've worked with Yashraj films before and they know me so well. They know I'd never cause unnecessary delays. More importantly, Yashji has worked wonderfully well with married actresses before. Whether it's Raakheeji in Kabhi Kabhie or Waheedaji, or Kajol in Fanaa he's aware and sensitive to the schedules and needs of an actress who's a wife and a mother. Things may be a little out of the timetable once in a while. And I feel comfortable with them.

What was your husband's reaction to your decision to comeback to movies?
He's fully supportive of whatever I do. He feels I should've no regrets in life. He feels one's talent shouldn't be suppressed. When I decided not to work and have kids, he was all for it. Then when I opted to do Devdas he was still supportive. And now he's with me all the way.

How will you divide time between the US and Mumbai?
It will only be like one film a year or one film in two years, or maybe two films a year, depending on how I adjust my schedules. For now I thought this project will be fun to do. I don't know why it's being seen as a comeback. I was just busy taking care of my kids.

Any nervousness about taking away from their time?
I'm extremely nervous about that. But there comes a time in a woman's life when she needs to think of a world outside her home. There're so many women all over the world who work and manage a career. My children are the most important part of my life. But they are growing and need to be a little independent. Also, my shooting in India will give the kids a chance to get in touch with their roots, to be in the country of their origins. They'll be with my family they'll meet with their cousins. I think they'll have fun.

 How much time can you give to acting?
Well once my two kids start going to school they won't be able to travel with me to India. I thought this would be a good opportunity. I wasn't desperate to get back to work. But I've worked for so many years that it's become inbred in me. So the thought of returning does excite me.

Everyone missed you after your last film Devdas. Did you miss films?
I don't miss the adulation or the glamour, though it's great to know people still miss me. What I missed was being in front of a camera and assuming various characters. Yeah, I missed that. I'm glad to have that back. Of course those five years away from the camera have been very very rewarding. I always wanted children and a family. It was a big part of my dream. I thoroughly enjoyed that whole phase. Now that the kids are growing up, I can take a little time off for myself.

How old are the kids?
The older one is 4 ' and the younger is 1'. And there's no question of leaving them behind in the US. I can't imagine my life without them. They'll come with me to Mumbai.

Looking back at the truckload of your blockbusters are you satisfied?
Ask any actor, they'll tell you they've a long way to go. To be satisfied with what you've done isn't the way to move ahead. There's always something better around the corner.

When do you start shooting?
Sometime in Januaury 2007. And we'll be done in 3-4 months.

Then it's the return of Madhuri Dixit?
I'm doing this without any thought for the repercussions. I just want to enjoy the feeling of facing the camera.

Any apprehensions about how much cinema has changed since you last showed up?
I've heard the change is for the better. Everyone's more disciplined. That makes things easier for me. I'd be able to work better. To be part of this phase when so much is happening, is a challenging thought.

 Any more projects?
Right now I'll just focus on this project, test the waters and see how I and the audience react. This film will give me the confidence to make further career decisions.

Have you met up with your director Anil Mehta as yet?
No I haven't. But I'm very familiar with his work as a cinematographer. In fact when I had to do my ad films for Himami, I had asked for him. But he was very very busy. We just have to see what happens.

We'd like you to do comedy.
There were funny moments in Indra Kumarji film. Raja had a lot of comedy. I want to do a comedy.

Which recent films have you enjoyed?
I haven't been able to watch any recent film. My kids are quite a handful. Ask me about any cartoon film and I can give you a frame-by-frame description...I just hope everything goes smoothly. I've been away for some time.

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