After making a comeback with the Netflix original series Bombay Begums last year, actor Pooja Bhatt will next be seen in Chup: Revenge Of The Artist, which is slated to enter theatres this Friday. She portrays a criminal psychiatrist in the upcoming psychological thriller. Chup tells the tale of a serial murderer who kills film critics in homage to the late filmmaker Guru Dutt and his 1959 film Kaagaz Ke Phool, which has grown to be a cult classic over time.
Pooja, whose on-screen career began with the television movie Daddy (1989), discusses her most memorable critique, which affected her and has affected her to this day, in an exclusive interview with News18.
She reflects on the experience of filming Prem Deewane (1992), alongside Madhuri (Dixit Nene), Jackie (Shroff), and Vivek, saying, “One of the nicest compliments I received was when I was shooting for Prem Deewane with Madhuri (Dixit Nene), Jackie (Shroff), and Vivek” (Mushran). We were being directed by the late choreographer Saroj Khan, and I definitely recall that it was the day we were filming for the song Happy Birthday To You Mr. Pedro. Jackie, Vivek, and I were being made to dance while Madhuri was on the opposing side. Imagine that (laughs)!
A family of three approached her while they were filming the song. “A girl approached me and said that her father wants to tell me something,” she continues. He admitted to me that he gave up drinking after seeing Daddy. That was the first time I saw how deeply films connect with audiences and have an effect that goes beyond the physical or overt. I genuinely value the acknowledgement for a variety of reasons. For the uninitiated, Daddy was directed by Pooja’s father, the director Mahesh Bhatt, and it followed the journey of a little girl who decides to use her unwavering love to stop her father from abusing alcohol.
As a result, the 50-year-old loves public feedback just as much as critical assessments from specialists and cinema connoisseurs. There are only two praises that stick with someone. One is when you get praise from critics, fellow actors, and peers. I see journalists, watchers, and critics as being a part of the entertainment business; I don’t see us as being apart from one another. In addition to fans informing you that they enjoyed your performance and that a particular narrative resonated with them, we also get compliments from other walks of life, she adds.
Pooja also remembers the wise advice given to her by the late music legend Lata Mangeshkar, which greatly inspired her in the early stages of her acting career. She was questioned about which modern artist’s work resonated with her the most during an interview. I like Pooja Bhatt because of how painfully red her eyes are, she remarked. “Really?” I asked. Wow!” she exclaims.
She praises actor Vidya Balan for getting in touch with her after the release of Bombay Begums, in which the latter portrayed a powerful banker. “Vidya phoned me and complimented me on the job I done. She also said, “I know that it’s not simple to do kissing onscreen as a fellow actress. However, guy, you kissed darn well! I didn’t shiver. It was wonderful to hear it from a female actress. People who see us assume that we have very glitzy lives and that it is strange to display any form of intimacy on camera. But shooting it is the most awkward thing ever! Making it seem tolerable is the difficult part, the Sadak (1991) and Zakhm (1998) actor says.
Pooja tells us that she is thrilled to have appeared on screen alongside Dulquer Salmaan and Shreya Dhawanthary in the movie Chup, and she is eagerly anticipating its release. “DQ is one individual whose silence commands attention more than speech. You can tell exactly what he stands for and doesn’t stand for without his having to express an opinion. I admire Shreya for choosing to shout in a society where whispering is expected and desired. She is a woman I can identify with. The nicest part is that we didn’t even have to try, which is how well we got along, she says.
When asked about her first project with the director R Balki, Pooja responds candidly, “He doesn’t have a masterpiece complex. He informed me he didn’t want to sell the movie to me when we first spoke on Zoom and sent the script directly to me instead. People very rarely share their scripts, yet doing so allows you to examine and think about it separately. The narration is primarily from the perspective of the director. Balki made everything on set very simple, so we had a great time producing the movie!