I am there, sign me: Hema Malini to producers

New Delhi: With her contemporaries Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bachchan and husband Dharmendra reclaiming the screen, veteran actor Hema Malini says she would also like to do movies provided producers come to her with “some nice roles”.

Malini’s most recent appearance in a film was “Shimla Mirchi”, which released in 2020. In the 2000s, she featured in hit films such as “Baghban”, “Veer-Zaara”, “Baabul” and “Bbuddah… Hoga Terra Baap”, all starring Amitabh Bachchan.

Earlier this year, Tagore returned to the screen after a hiatus of 13 years with Disney+ Hotstar film “Gulmohar” in a critically-lauded turn, Jaya Bachchan and Dharmendra starred in one of the biggest hits of the year, “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani”.

A two-time MP from Mathura, Malini has been away from the movies for quite some time.

“I would like to do it (films). If I get some nice roles, sure, definitely, why not? I would like all the producers to come forward and sign me. I am there,” the 74-year-old told PTI when asked whether she was willing to take up more acting roles like her peers.

In October, “Baghban” will complete 20 years of its release. Directed by Ravi Chopra, the family drama revolved around an elderly couple, played by Malini and Amitabh Bachchan, who are forced to live separately when their sons refuse to take care of both their parents.

Recalling working with Amitabh Bachchan on the 2003 movie, Malini said she wishes they had done more work after “Baghban”. The duo also starred opposite in 1980s films such as “Satte Pe Satta”, “Naseeb”, and “Nastik”.

“I wish we had done many more films together after ‘Baghban’. But unfortunately, it did not happen. Maybe one has to remember only ‘Baghban’. So, it was wonderful working (with Bachchan).

“Even that time, I did a film after some gap of years, I did ‘Baghban’. So, I was a little hesitant, but I did the film. And, of course, Amit ji and I did beautiful work together,” she added.

Malini, who is also a producer and director, said she is happy with the return of Hindi films at the box office.

Citing the example of this year’s biggest hits such as Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan” and “Gadar 2”, fronted by step-son Sunny Deol, the screen icon said the audience wants to watch films on the big screen. OTT platforms, however, are preferable as “time pass”.

“Films on the (big) screen are very different, which we are used to. I’m used to that kind of films… the big screen. So, this OTT and web series are all nice for time pass, but I don’t know how wonderful it is.

“That’s why when ‘Gadar 2’ and ‘Pathaan’ and all came on the big screen, they were all a hit. People love to see the big screen which is different from the small screen,” she said.

Malini, a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, was recently in the capital for the launch of “Chal Mann Vrindavan”, a coffee table book with photographs of the temples and edifices of Mathura-Vrindavan.

The actor, who has served as the chief editor on the book, said she got involved with the project because of her experience in Mathura as an MP. Malini won the Mathura Lok Sabha seat for two consecutive terms in 2014 and 2019 on BJP ticket. Before that, she was a member of the Rajya Sabha.

“I have been there for the last nine-and-a-half years, so, I put in my (insight) whatever I felt about Vrindavan… staying there for so many years, as an artist and as a member of Parliament as well. That experience is also there (in the book). And also, how I danced in many temples there and all that,” she added.

Before the book launch, she also took part in a fashion show, which presented a clothing collection by designer Sulakshana Monga, honouring the heritage and architecture of Vrindavan.

“We never thought of having a fashion show. Just a few days ago, I went to meet Sulakshana, she’s a dress designer. When I went to her store, I saw a beautiful display of ghagras with all Vrindavan (motifs). I said ‘My God! It’s so nice.’ “And this book release was happening, I thought why not have a fashion show?’ I know it will not gel at all (with) book release. But we made it… She (the designer) also made me wear it… There is a glimpse of Vrindavan here (on the saree I’m wearing),” she said.

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