Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit says playing Begum Para, the new femme fatale in Abhishek Chaubey's 'Dedh Ishqiya', was challenging but fun.
"It was a challenging role because I could not go overboard with the character or underplay it. The more complex a character, the more taut a performance needs to be.
Playing Begum Para was like a tightrope walk. It had to be just right and I had to constantly keep that in mind," Madhuri told PTI. The 46-year-old actress, however, did not find it difficult to master the nuances or the Urdu diction of her character.
"The diction was not a problem as I have done a little bit of Urdu as Chandramukhi in 'Devdas'. My priority was getting the performance right." The film, a sequel to 2010 'Ishqiya', is slated to release tomorrow.
Both Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi are reprising their roles as Khalujaan and Babban while Huma Qureshi is the other new face in the movie.
Madhuri agreed to be a part of the sequel because she loved the "unapologetic way" Abhishek presented Vidya Balan's character of a beautiful, willful woman in 'Ishqiya'.
"I had seen 'Ishqiya' and was very impressed with the way a woman's character was etched out in it. Vidya was very well presented. There was no apology for the way she was which I found very interesting. So, I was already impressed with Abhishek and Vishalji's (Bhardwaj) work," she says.
It is her first lead role after 'Aaja Nachle' in 2007 but Madhuri does not consider it her comeback as she has been busy doing television, shooting for 'Dedh Ishqiya' and 'Gulab Gang', her next release in March.
"It is not a comeback because I have been doing work. If a hero does a film after four years, they don't say it's a comeback but if a heroine does a film in three years, it becomes a comeback. This is the way things work here but that's fine. I just hope that people like my two films," Madhuri said.
The actress says it was an honour to work with Shah again after films like 'Tridev', 'Rajkumar' and 'Gaj Gamini'. "We did not have any scenes in 'Tridev' while in 'Rajkumar', he played a negative role. We were also together in 'Gaj Gamini'.
It is an honour to work with him every time. He is very natural, you forget that you are doing a scene with him. Our whole chemistry was very beautiful in the film," Madhuri said. The film also gave her a chance to work to Pandit Birju Maharaj for a song 'Jagaave saari raina'. "I have two songs 'jagaawe saari raina' which is choreographed by Maharaj ji.
This song does not have lip-sync so everything had to be done through acting and body language. The song comes at a very important moment in the film. I had worked with Maharajji in 'Devdas'. "The other song is 'hamri atariyaa' which I think was more challenging to Remo D'Souza than me because he has never choreographed a classical number."
Her second film 'Gulab Gang' is coming after a gap of just two months. Madhuri, however, is happy that her fans will get a chance to see her in two completely different roles. "I spent the last two years working on these two films. I think two months is quite a good gap for another film to release. Both the films are poles apart in terms of character and story."