After 25 years in Bollywood, Juhi Chawla recently forayed into Holly wood with a guest appearance in Hundred Foot Journey. In Lucknow on Tuesday , the actress talked to us about her journey so far.
SPACE IT Juhi has been to Lucknow a number of times before as well, but rues that she didn’t get a chance to explore the city . “My visit to Luc know was always restricted to press meets. However, this time, I noticed something new. I can see a whole lot of construction, espe cially the apartments. I live in Mumbai so when I go to cities like Lucknow and Kan pur, it’s always pleasant to see individual houses, open space. But gradually I can see Lucknow bhi hamare Mumbai ki tarah hota ja raha hai,” she says.
JOURNEY WITH REGRETS While talking about her journey in film industry so far, Juhi says, “It’s been 25 years and to be frank, at the start of my career I actually did not know that I would be able to survive for even 25 days in the film industry . It’s a blessing for me that after so many years people still want to see me in films. Even though Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was big hit, at that time I was still a newcomer in the industry and I actual ly didn’t understand ki yeh hua kya. But after seeing such success, even I have given flop films. I have had all kind of moments in my career.” And describing one such moment, Juhi says, “After the success of movie Darr, I was flying very high and my mind had stopped working. And it was then that I made some stupid decisions and let go of some good offers, which later became big hits. For example, I refused Yash Chopra’s Dil Toh Pagal hai, then Raja Hindutani. I could have done that film if that kiss scene was not there. Then the movie Judaai, I regret not doing these films. If I could go back in time, I would want to do those films that I have rejected, that’s the only thing that I want to change in my career.”
PARALLEL CINEMA: A REFRESHING CHANGE Juhi has acted in more than 70 mainstream films before doing parallel and independent cinema in the last decade. “There was a phase in my career when I was doing only commercial films, that was in the 90s. Jab aisi independent cinema waali films mere paas aati thi toh main bahar se hi naa bol deti thi. Then came a time when offers for commercial films started slowing down and I got married and had children. It was during that phase in life that I considered art films seriously ,” says Juhi, adding, “People used to laugh at me, especially when I did Jhankaar Beats. But luck favoured me and films like My Brother Nikhil and Jhankaar Beats were well received. They brought a refreshing change in my life.Frankly speaking, I am at now at a stage where I am not ready to play the hero’s mother, nor am I young enough to play a heroine. I know there are these few films that may have a role for me.”
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS Juhi is also the co-owner of IPL cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders, which is on a winning spree after their win in IPL 2014, after facing initial failure in the IPL tournament. “Touch wood! It’s been going all well now and I hope when the team reaches the finals of the Champions League T20, I will be at stadium to cheer them. Yes, it also has been a memorable journey with KKR. Jab humne shuruaat ki toh itne dande pade, itne dande pade ki ab jab bhi jeet hoti hai toh dil se bada wala thank you nikalta hai. If we would have tasted victory shuru mein toh dimag kharab ho jaata.” But Juhi clarifies that neither Shah Rukh Khan (the co-owner of KKR), nor she intervene much in the decisions of the team. “Initially when the team was formed, there used to be a whole lot of discussions on jerseys, music and the players, but now things have changed and there are people who manage things for us. However, major decisions are still taken by Shah Rukh, my husband Jay and CEO of KKR.”
A FILM WITH SALMAN Juhi has been paired opposite Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan but never has she done a film with Salman Khan. Recently there was also speculations of Juhi doing a film with Salman, but the actress dismissed any such development. “I wish I could do a film with Salman but there is no such movie happening for now.”