What made you decide on your comeback?
I don't know why they're calling it a comeback. It's not like I'm going to be working on 10-12 films at the same time like I used to. It's just that whenever I came back to India, people would come to me with scripts. I decided to work in this film because I liked the script and I'm very comfortable with Yash Chopra. I'm not committing myself to doing any more films, so it's not really a comeback.
The general consensus is that you were the last Great Indian Actress. Since then, there has been nobody to take numero uno position. Why do you think that is?
I don't know why that is. Maybe because the audience has got split up so the idea of a face with universal appeal does not exist anymore.
Actresses who make their debut these days are groomed and styled, unlike during your time...
I literally grew up on screen and I learnt from my mistakes, what looks good on me and what doesn't. Now, the actresses from their very first film are perfectly groomed and well trained. They look the same in the first film as they do in their fifth or sixth film. There is so much of a difference in filmmaking now, with emphasis on looks and styling. In our time, we would sometimes come onto the sets and the dialogues would be written then and there. There was a lot more spontaneity.
Amongst the newer actresses, who do you think has potential?
I have seen Vidya Balan in Parineeta and I thought she did a wonderful job for someone who's making her debut. I think she has the makings of a great actress. You feel with her and that's very important for an actress.
Which was the last Bollywood movie you saw?
I saw Dhoom 2 and enjoyed it a lot. It was very entertaining and I thought Hrithik was fabulous. I still have to watch Munnabhai and a lot of other films that I missed out on.
Which of your old co-stars would you like to work with again? And who among the new actors?
I haven't seen much of John, Hrithik or Abhishek. But I have worked a lot with Anil Kapoor, Shah Rukh, Aamir and would love to work with all of them again. We've vibed well in the past and there is a lot of mutual respect and admiration.
From superstar to housewife and mother, what role did you relish the most?
I have relished all roles as much. I would not call myself a superstar but when I was an actress, I loved being in front of the camera. But having a family life was always a big part of my dream. So getting married and having children has made me very happy as well.
When you got married, you had said your husband Ram had seen none of your movies. Has he seen any now?
He's just seen Devdas. But I've got all the DVDs and he plans to watch them all.
What does he think of your comeback?
He's always been of the opinion that talent should not be stifled. He feels that if it makes me happy, that's what matters the most and besides, the kids are a lot more manageable now.
How do they react to seeing you on screen?
The eldest one gets very excited to see me. He says, "That's Mommy and she's dancing". But they'd rather watch cartoons and I would have to play a cartoon to grab their attention.
What have the fan encounters in the US been like?
Well, people would accost me at a mall or a shop, whenever I'd be out. But it's really sweet when people would ring my doorbell and say "We just wanted to see you once" or "We're leaving for India, can we see you?"