MADS IS MAD ABOUT...
Come June 1 and Madhuri Dixit's dazzling smile and dance moves will light up your TV screens as she returns as a judge on reality dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. But before that, here's Mads in t2!
Was it a given that you would return to Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa?
It was always understood that I would be back on the show and I will keep coming back till the time the audience wants to see me judging Jhalak. I enjoy working with Colors and with the BBC cast and crew. And you know dance is something that has always been close to my heart. Any opportunity that I get to dance or do anything with dance, I take it up with both hands (laughs the Madhuri laugh)... I have enjoyed Jhalak over the last two seasons and it was quite obvious I would take it up this time too. It's great fun.
What do you feel about the contestant line-up this time?
Oh my god, it's wow! I think we have some very good celebrities this time. I am really looking forward to seeing a lot of very high-quality dance this time, given that we have contestants who are not totally amateurs. It's going to be a fun season.
One hears that you have set the performance bar higher this time…
I've been a part of two seasons before this and it's time we set the standards a little higher. Everybody can dance, right? But I want to see if they can get their hearts and souls into it. I want them to bring themselves into their dance. For me, that has always been my mantra while dancing. There have been days when I haven't felt 100 per cent fit or there has been something on my mind, but once I got on the dance floor, nothing else mattered. For me, it was dance like no one's watching. And that's what I would like to see in the contestants.
How has it been teaming up once more with your co-judges Karan Johar and Remo D'Souza?
That's a major reason why I wanted to come back to Jhalak. The three of us really hit it off well in the last season and I think we made one hell of a team. The best thing about the three of us is that we are almost always on the same page as far as a contestant or a performance is concerned. Even off set, we three are good friends and that always helps. I have a lot of respect for Remo as a choreographer and a huge amount of respect for Karan as a producer, even more so after I have worked for his production house (Dharma Productions) in a song called Ghagra (for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). After that, my respect for Karan has gone up even higher! (Laughs) Even as people, they both are wonderful and we have such a great time on set that I don't even realise when the day comes to an end.
Do your kids Arin and Ryan like watching you more on a show like Jhalak or in a song like Ghagra?
(Laughs the Madhuri laugh) They kind of like Jhalak because it's about giving marks… makes them feel like it's school! They follow the show quite religiously and then they shout at me saying: 'Why did you give her less marks? Why did you give him so many points?' When Ghagra first aired, my sons came running to me and screamed: 'Ma, you are on TV!' (Laughs) They were very excited to see me in that long, flowing ghagra!
But they must be used to seeing quite a bit of you on TV by now?
Yeah, now they are getting a little used to it. In fact, my kids had come on the sets of Ghagra. But you know how kids are na… they were more interested in how the sets were made! They were very upset why only half the sets were there. They ran up to me and asked: 'Why aren't the rooms complete?' They were very hassled about that (laughs).
How was it doing the Ghagra song with Ranbir Kapoor?
It was a blast… it was so much fun! He's such a good actor. See the kind of roles he's done… he always takes a risk, always does something different and does it so well. I have a lot of admiration for him as an actor. And he brings a lot of life into his dancing. It was wonderful working with him.
Ranbir told us last week that you've been his biggest crush growing up…
(Laughs the Madhuri laugh) Well, I just keep reading about it in the interviews. On the sets of Ghagra, he was a very quiet and well-behaved boy. Even for that kiss in the song, he seemed a little nervous… but then he's a good actor! (Laughs)
You've just wrapped up your film Gulaab Gang. Did such a serious film offer any scope for dance?
It's not really a serious kind of film… there are many bits of it that are quite entertaining, actually. It's a film with a strong social message, no doubt, but we've kept it quite entertaining. There is dancing… there are songs in the movie. I am very proud of the way the film has turned out and I am hoping that the audience will like Gulaab Gang.
Are you happy with your second innings in Bollywood till now?
I don't really think this is my second innings because I have always been coming back and doing work. I signed Devdas after marriage and I also completed Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam and Pukar after marriage. I did Aaja Nachle after that and then Jhalak happened. So, it's not that I have come back after a long time. I am a professional and I am now doing work making sure I keep a balance between my family and my career.