Following the success of previous ‘In Conversation With…’ sessions, the BBC Asian Network brings listeners another Bollywood legend as part of the Summer of Stars campaign – screen star Madhuri Dixit. This exclusive programme, pre-recorded at the BBC’s Radio Theatre, sees the station’s Drive Show presenter Noreen Khan, talking to the actress about her career, her success and her private life. The event, which gave some lucky listeners the opportunity to hear stories about the star’s acting journey, was broadcast on Wednesday 23rd May from 3pm – 6pm.
Madhuri Dixit is one of Bollywood’s most esteemed actresses, having starred in over 60 films including Dil, Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Dil To Pagal Hain. She has won five Filmfare awards and holds the record for the highest number of Best Actress nominations at the awards with an astounding 13.
In her exclusive BBC Asian Network interview, she talks about growing up in a musical family and how her love for the arts grew from an early age: “My mum was a Hindustani classical singer and I think I must have heard her sing and you know…the Tabla, the Harmonium. They say that when you’re in the womb, you learn a lot of things and I think it started there”. Yet she reveals how she dreamt of becoming a microbiologist and never thought she’d end up in the Bollywood industry: “It’s funny but I never thought I’d be an actress. I thought maybe I’d do dancing and pursue that…but I never thought that I would go into acting.”
She continues to talk about her love for quality music and how she was left stunned by the concept of a certain track: “I come from a classical background and my mum used to sing so we have an appreciation for good music.…and then comes this song, and until then I had shot for Ram Lakhan, Bada Dukhdi Na, Oh Ramji, had Lata Mangeshkar singing for me… and then N Chandra-ji comes with this song ‘Ek Do Teen’ and I’m like really? Is this a song??”
During the session, Noreen probed deeper to find out which Bollywood actor Madhuri felt she had the most on-screen chemistry with: “The person I really liked to work with and whenever I meet him, there’s a kind of a comradery, there’s a kind of friendship…yes it’s Shah Rukh.”
Talking about her private life, Madhuri reflects on how she felt when she first met her husband: “When I met Ram it was different. First of all he had not seen many movies of mine… he had not seen any actually! That was very refreshing because there were no pre-conceived notions… we just met as people, and yes I just knew he was the one.”
And on how working in Bollywood has changed since her earlier days, the Tezaab star said: “Slowly everything has changed for the better, everything is much more organised. We start on time, we end on time. Movies are made in a limited number of days. Everything is scripted, bound and given to you…..Today it’s much more prepared.”
Noreen Khan said: “Having grown up watching Madhuri’s movies. I decided early on she was my favourite actress! For me, she epitomises a Bollywood star; her acting, beauty and her accomplished dancing. It was a real honour for me to be hosting this special In Conversation with her and I know the audience, like myself, thoroughly enjoyed being in her company and listening to her incredible journey to becoming one of Bollywood’s biggest ever stars.”
This special programme is part of a selection of exclusive content from some of the world’s biggest Bollywood stars. From May to September, the BBC Asian Network will present a range of programming as part of their Summer of Stars campaign. This will include specialised meet the stars events, comedy, drama and dedicated programmes, where listeners can hear from voices such as the king of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan and comedy sensation Meera Syal.
Check out the full video of the show here
Photo courtesy of BBC Asian Network