Chawla traces her 30-year-journey and what she learned from Shabana Azmi
A romantic in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak or a tortured wife in Daraar, Juhi Chawla has been a force to reckon with in her 30-year career. Considered something of a pioneer for women in the field, she happily took a step back from the glamorous life to shine the spotlight on her children Jhanavi and Arjun, with industrialist Jay Mehta. Last year, she made a comeback alongside Madhuri Dixit in Gulaab Gang, to play a villain for the first time. She also joined the Hollywood bandwagon, sharing the screen with Dame Helen Mirren and Om Puri in Steven Spielberg’s The Hundred Foot Journey. Now she’s gearing up for Subhash Singh’s Chalk and Duster, a film about the business of education. More from the actress:
Your role in Chalk N Duster.
I play a teacher. What drew me was the engaging script—it will make you want to get up and clap.
Working with veterans
There’s something to learn from the experienced and to enjoy in the enthusiasm of those just starting out.
Working with Shabana Azmi.
I remember the first time she read the script, listened to the role, and just got so taken up with the whole thing. She even took the film’s designer to shop her wardrobe for the film, which matches her character of a teacher. That actually put me to shame because I am not very involved in these aspects. Working with such an evolved actress has been amazing.
A performance you’re proud of.
I have done some lovely roles in a lot of films, but always in the space of goody, funny, romantic, sweet and emotional. The one that stands out for me is Gulab Gang, which was dark.
Directors you’d like to work with?
Rajkumar Hirani and Shoojit Sircar, definitely.
Critical acclaim or mass appeal?
Why do we have to pick? I’d love both. A box office hit and great reviews, perfect.
The film is scheduled to release on September 5, Teachers’ Day.
— Aakanksha Devi