Known as one of the best, the iconic actress Madhuri Dixit is back to regale her fans in Amazon Prime Video’s eagerly anticipated film Maja Ma. In this exceptional interview, she discusses working on projects for streaming services and talks about the film and her role in Maja Ma, which, she says, is one that was challenging and very close to her heart. Plus, so much more.
Maja Ma sounds like a whole lot of fun. Did you enjoy shooting this cheerful and energetic film?
Oh yes, absolutely! It was truly Maja on the sets of Maja Ma, a whole lot of different and surreal experiences because this movie came with many firsts for me. It was my first time working with Prime Video, and with Leo Media Collective, the director, Anand Tiwari, and producer, Amritpal Singh Bindra, as well as the whole cast and also this film gave me the chance to do my first-ever Garba performance! Apart from that, the script was something that drew me to it. More importantly, I found my character, Pallavi Patel, to be so interesting, and challenging. So yeah, when there are a lot of things that you admire in a project, then you obviously tend to enjoy every bit of it.
Earlier this year, you made your OTT debut in The Fame Game, which introduced you to a whole new fan following. Do you see OTT platforms as the way forward?
Oh yes! There are so many kinds of roles being written for streaming services, and that really provides us, actors, with the opportunity to explore our craft and challenge ourselves as artistes. That is something I find exciting. Stories on OTT platforms are quite unique, and a lot of them have women as the focal point, which is great! I think because of the direction in which films/series on OTT platforms are going; it is the Golden Era for women in the industry. OTT platforms are a medium of connection between so many countries and their stories in the form of movies and series. These streaming services have made women the highlight of a lot of the content that goes out to the world. Hence, it’s a wonderful time of diversity that has risen because of OTT. I think OTT is definitely going to lead the way for entertainment in the future, where artists, especially female actors, can play many complex and layered roles.
As a wife and mother, how closely did you identify with your character in Maja Ma?
She (Pallavi) tries her best to be the perfect wife and mother, like pretty much every wife and mother out there. They take care of their husbands, try to be friends with their kids so that they confide in them, and do it all expecting nothing but love and respect. So yes, these are the traits of a regular mother, and, unsurprisingly, Pallavi also has the same feelings. But we have tried to show via the trailer, and as you will see in the movie, that apart from being a wife, a mother, and a daughter, she is a woman of her own. We have tried to showcase that as well, that she has an identity of a woman apart from the roles mentioned above. It is a beautiful, layered role which I really enjoyed portraying and can’t wait for audiences to discover.
Have you ever felt that your career was diminished because you chose to take a break at the peak of your career?
No, I never felt that way. I always wanted to lead a simple life and spend time with my kids and family. Earlier, we used to do multiple projects together. Sometimes 6-7 films at the same time, and as a result, I did not have time for myself. It was all work-work and then home, but when I got married and moved to the US, I found it liberating in a way that I understood myself, who I am as a person and how I process things. Also, whenever I used to travel abroad for work, it was always for my job, and when I would wrap the schedule, I would return home. But, after getting married, I finally got the chance to visit those places as a tourist. The time I spent in the USA also was a blessing as I got to spend much time with my husband and kids. It was a win-win situation for me.
Maja Ma seems to be a light-hearted film. Is it a relief to be doing fun films at this stage of your career?
I loved working on this family entertainer because I thoroughly believe in the project, the story, and my character as Pallavi Patel. But apart from being a fun movie, Maja Ma also is a very deep movie which has complex characters. Having great directors, producers, and cast members like Gajraj ji, Ritwik, Barkha, Srishti, and everyone else seemed like a celebration and party every night after pack up. The reel family became so close to me- like my own family while shooting that it will definitely reflect on-screen.
What was it like shooting with the director and cast of Maja Ma, all of whom are in awe of you?
I’ve learned so much from everyone while working on the film, Amrit, Anand, the entire Leo Media Collective Team, and the entire cast, of course. The most mischievous out of the whole lot was our director, Anand Tiwari. He is just a ball of energy. I remember he was the one dancing the most while shooting for the song Boom Padi. Gajraj Raoji has the perfect comic timing. His one-liners in the film, while the shot is going, were impossible not to laugh at. And I didn’t want to ruin his shot. I had to try really hard to avoid laughing, so I used to sing sad songs in my mind! I loved working with the younger lot, Ritwik Bhowmik, Srishti Shrivastava, and Barkha Singh . They are so talented and hard-working. In retrospect, when I was their age, I knew so little about films. I learnt along the way on the job. But they already know so much. They understand cinema; they understand the work. They are so full of joy and full of life that whenever they used to come on set, the set got a life of its own. That also inspired me a lot. You could have such long conversations with them, you could learn so much from them; it was truly a joy working with them for this film.
Tell me about your plans for the future. Are you doing another season of The Fame Game?
Currently, I am busy with the promotions of Maja Ma and shooting for the new season of TV reality show Jhalak Dikhla Ja. I am excited about audience’s reactions to Maja Ma when it premieres on Prime Video on October 6th. At this point, I only hope that they love me in this new avatar as much as I loved playing the character of Pallavi Patel.
Are your sons inclined towards a career in acting?
Right now, they are focusing on their studies, and I honestly don’t know whether they want to make a career in acting. I would be okay with whatever profession they want to choose. I feel kids should follow their passion, and that’s most important because once you are passionate about something, you will enjoy your work.
In case you missed it here is the trailer: