Neena Gupta, who plays a key role in Amitabh Bachchan-led Uunchai, feels ‘honoured’ to be a part of Sooraj Barjatya’s on-screen world
Neena Gupta; (right) Amitabh Bachchan with Sooraj Barjatya
Most actors will tell you that working with Sooraj Barjatya ranks high on their wish-list. Neena Gupta is no exception. Four decades and countless films later, the senior actor has manifested her long-standing wish. To her, Uunchai is a personal milestone rather than a professional one. “When Sooraj narrated the script, I probably wasn’t even listening because I was so honoured that he had a role for me. I couldn’t believe it was happening,” beams Gupta.
She joins Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Danny Denzongpa, Sarika and Parineeti Chopra in the drama that is centred on three sexagenarians who trek to the Himalayas to fulfil their friend’s dying wish. Gupta believes that through the movie, Barjatya beautifully depicts that friendship is among the most unconditional forms of love. “Long ago, a friend had told me, ‘Dosti budhape ka khazana hota hai.’ As you get older, kids grow up and move on, and you tend to feel lonely. It’s always your friends who come to your side at this stage. Today, I cherish my friendships.”
In the November 11 offering, the actor plays Shabina, a devoted homemaker whose life revolves around her family. Asked whether she identifies with the character, she notes that every person — in real-life or on reel — is the product of circumstances. “People should read my book to know who I am. [People] tell me, ‘You live by your own rules’, but I have not always done what I wanted to do. Everybody has to succumb to the circumstances. That said, I have made the most of what [came my way].”