After a four-year-long break – her last film was the Soumik Sen-directed Gulaab Gang in 2014 – Madhuri Dixit is set to return to the big screen with her first Marathi film, Bucket List. She plays Madhura Sane, a housewife who decides to live out her organ donor's bucket list. To that effect, she rides a motorbike, goes clubbing and even takes a selfie with Ranbir Kapoor. Ahead of the film's release, Dixit tells us what she did during her hiatus and how the industry has changed:
ON HER FOUR-YEAR-LONG BREAK
There are times when you just want to pause. And then you have kids and then you have other responsibilities. It's never that you're just sitting and not doing anything. There are so many things other than acting. So I got occupied with that. The decision to take a pause was completely mine. There were many scripts I read during that time. I did an album. I was busy in a different way.
ON BEING IN THE INDUSTRY FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS
I don't think it ever gets easier. You get more comfortable in front of the camera because you've been doing it for so long, but when you take up these different characters, you have to give each character its own intonation and you're working towards that. So it's never easy. I feel very comfortable in front of the camera. My only challenge is – am I doing it how the director has envisioned this role? So we discuss it a lot.
ON HOW THE INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED
I think it's easier now in the way of personal comforts. When we used to do outdoors, we never had vans and we never had AC. We were just sitting in the sun. There were a lot of hardships in that sense – physical hardships. Today, it's much easier. The scripts are ready – you know every dialogue you're going to say. Everything is worked out, from your look to what your makeup is going to be for that scene. So in that sense, everything is organised. It's not as disorganized as it used to be. We still made good films spontaneously then. Today it's all planned.
ON WHY IT'S A GREAT TIME FOR WOMEN IN FILM
You see Tumhari Sulu, you see Raazi, which has just released. There are so many films which are very woman-centric, without being stereotypical. When you see Tumhari Sulu, she's playing an RJ and you see whatever she's doing and her own process. Initially, when you talk about women in films, she used to be an avenger or someone who's a victim and then takes a stand. It's not like there were ordinary women being portrayed. So I think this is a great time for women in cinema. Have you seen Oceans 8? It is cracking. Movies are being made in which women are at the centre and yet not being pushed into a slot.
ON WHETHER BOX OFFICE RESULTS INTIMIDATE HER
I feel you should do any roles that excite you. Because there's nothing left to prove. It's wonderful when women-centric movies do well. Everybody just follows a trend and when something like that does well, it gives other people the confidence to make more.