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Dimple Kapadia: Can I act? That question often played on my mind

Updated on: 04 June,2023 07:32 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Enjoying the current phase of her career at 65, Dimple Kapadia thrilled that audience’s appreciation has quelled her doubts

 Dimple Kapadia: Can I act? That question often played on my mind

Dimple Kapadia

Halfway into the year, Dimple Kapadia has already given us three projects. She kicked off 2023 with Pathaan, in which she played mentor to Shah Rukh Khan’s character, following it up with Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar, and the crime drama, Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo. At 65, Kapadia is busier than ever before. How does she view her career at this stage, having come from a generation where female actors had short shelf lives? “I’ve been blessed. I have no reason to be where I am today. It has given me so much happiness that people have appreciated my work. I was always told that I’m beautiful, but I asked myself, can I act? That question often played on my mind. So, when I started my second innings [in the early ’80s], I wanted to do Sadma [1983], and not Sagar [1985]. But destiny had other things in store for me. Probably God knew that I was not ready to do a Sadma.”

In her latest Disney+ Hotstar series, Kapadia—as a matriarch who runs a drug cartel—strikes a balance between warmth and villainy. “There is a certain vulnerability to her that came through despite her craziness,” she reflects. It saw her reunite with director Homi Adajania, who believes that he can’t do any piece of work without her. Is she the Queen Bee on his set? “Whoever said that I’m a star on Homi’s set is talking rubbish,” she laughs. “I am supposed to check what he wants to eat and get him his khana. I do all that because I love being with him and working with him. I love his madness, that’s what we bond over.”

In her five-decade career, Kapadia has given us memorable roles in Rudaali (1993), Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (2020). The chase was always to do different kinds of cinema, she says. “When I did Kaash [1987], I was told, ‘How can you play a mother of a seven-year-old? You should do glamorous roles. People will start typecasting you.’ But I never feared that I would be typecast. What mattered to me was that I tried to do my best in a given role.”

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