The Return Of Urmila Matondkar: An Interview

A sizzling schemer and a worried widow — with roles as diverse as chalk and cheese — Urmila Matondkar is ready for her second spell

While every other B-Town beauty is opting for a sizzling avatar these days, no one can deny that Urmila Matondkar still remains the original oomph gal. The Marathi mulgi who set the screen on fire in Rangeela has gone ahead to prove that she ain't all about skin. With author backed roles in Satya, Kaun, Bhoot, Pinjar and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maraa, Urmila has proved her histrionics time and again. A few of the Bolly actresses who believe in being versatile, Urmi has flirted with music, television and painting. A multi faceted personality in the true sense, the actress is now back to cast her spell on the big screen. With her films Karzzzz and EMI ready for release, we got chatty with apni Oomphmati. Read on.

Of late, you have been lying low.

That's the question asked only in India. It's silly to answer that.

Your fans, too, feel the same.

That doesn't mean I will do any role that comes my way. There has to be something that's promising and gratifying. I am not desperate to be seen on screen.

But then you have had your share of bad films.

I admit but I do not regret. Even what you call 'bad films' gave me scope to learn.

Any regrets about leaving the Ram Gopal Varma camp?

Can we move on to the next question, please?

Sure. What prompted you to take on television?

What's wrong with exploring new areas? When you explore an unknown terrain, it's enriching and more demanding.

But television is certainly not your homeground.

Yes, it isn't. That's why, while hosting Waar Parivar and judging Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, I had to overcome a new set of challenges. As a host, it's you who has to regulate the proceedings of the show. Unlike films, it's direct communication with the audience. The screen may be small, but the responsibilities are bigger.

How has the transition to the tube been?

I must say, it has been extremely satisfying!

Television or films…where will we be seeing more of you now?

(Laughs) That's a question you shouldn't be asking when I have two films ready to hit the theatres. No small screen as of now.

After Karzzzz and EMI, what projects will you be working on?

I am lending my voice to a character in an animated flick, Ab Dilli Door Nahin. Beyond that, I have nothing to speak about.

Yet another sabbatical. Right?

Not really. The moment I get something that's truly dynamic, I will be all geared up.

How do you consider the leap in Karzzzz?

You shouldn't focus on the leap. If you have seen the promo, do I look I have played something that's not my age?

How different is your role from Simi Garewal's — Kamini in the original Karz (1980)?

Kamini is much more tougher than the original character. She is far more glamourised. And yes, there are a couple of major changes in the climax. Watch out!

How did you prepare for the role?

When I said yes to the project, the first thing I did was to stop watching Rishi Kapoor starrer Karz. I did not want to get influenced by Simi Garewal's role in anyway. I have done it my way.

How was Himesh Reshammiya as a co-star?

Focussed and right on track. When you watch the film, you'll know how hardworking he is.

Himesh was quite surprised when you agreed to star opposite him.

Yes, though it took a couple of calls before I agreed to be onboard.

You have gone deglam in EMI.

Yes. My role is a complete contrast to that of Kamini in Karzzzz. It is a light-hearted comedy and I play a middle class widow who's burdened with loans.

How was it to reunite with your Eh Shivani co-star Sanjay Dutt?

Do I need to say — always fun?

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