Was it difficult for director Gurmmeet Singh to convince you to do the film?
It was not difficult because the subject was nice and multi-layered. I loved the character but I had my apprehensions about whether I will do justice to the role. The director was very persuasive and told me exactly what he wants. He has done a great job.
Are you a hands-on mother or grandmother?
Not at all. In fact, they (daughters Twinkle and Rinke) are strict with me. I get a lot of instructions from my daughters as well as from my grandchildren on what I am not supposed to do and what I am doing wrong. They always keep checking on where I am and what I am doing and so on. We are really close to each other.
What do you have to say about current, overactive marketing strategies?
I don’t believe in promotions ... Whether you market your film or not, your product and its content will speak for itself. But I am sure there must be some benefit, which is why everyone has to do it.
Why did it take you so long time to do a comedy film?
I don’t know why people are saying it is a comedy — it has situational humour. Maybe for the audience it is comedy, but if you think of putting yourself in my character’s place then she is right in her own sense. It is a very real character.
Are you too selective about your work?
I think it is due to sheer laziness that sometimes I don’t feel like putting in that much effort in leading a disciplined life. Sometimes roles are not good enough. Unless something really good does not come my way, I don’t do it.
How has your experience been with new actors and directors?
I have had a wonderful time. I had a great opportunity to work with many new directors such as Homi Adjania, Farhan, Zoya (Akhtar) and Rahul Dholakia. During the 70’s, we had many directors who were just formula movie makers. Before that we had great directors like Guru Dutt, Raj saab (Kapoor), Mehboob saab (Khan) and what directors they were! Now, this current breed again has some real directors. They go out of their way and can create a world.
What kind of cinema do you enjoy?
I like to watch light-hearted films and comedies. I am not an intellectual person and I don’t watch dark films or documentaries. I like quirky films with unpredictable stories — I even enjoy reading such stories. I don’t feel like watching regular cinema. I do watch masala films like Dabangg, where Salman Khan is at his entertaining best. But how many entertainers do we really have?
What is your take on remakes?
It cannot be done. I really don’t like to watch remakes. I think that entire chemistry and set up is very difficult to recreate. You have seen some of the best people doing it. If someone wants to remake my film, I will say to go and find somebody else please.
Has your grandson Aarav seen your work?
No, not as of now. I want him to watch this film and I hope he enjoys it. He liked the poster of this film and was very excited and said that he was going to give me some marketing ideas. And, he actually came up with two ideas. So it was like an assurance for me that the boy thinks this film is worth marketing and is going to work. It was the biggest compliment for me.
How do you spend your day when you are not shooting?
It is a very boring day. I get up whenever I feel like getting up. I keep changing my routine — one day I’ll work out like crazy and then I won’t work out for six months. A while ago, I was into yoga. One thing that doesn’t change is meeting my grandchildren and spending quality time with them.
Are you planning to make Rajesh Khanna’s bungalow into museum?
I don’t know who said that. Nobody from my family said it.