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Favourite mom has her favourites

Madhur Tankha

Kirron Kher

NEW DELHI: She may have earned the tag of being the favourite mom of Bollywood stars, but actor Kirron Kher has demonstrated her versatility by playing the same role in a completely different way in each film.

Kirron, who has her roots in theatre, admits that theatre has always been her strong point. “I am happy to note that the quality of our plays has not diminished. I hold students from National School of Drama in high esteem as they are truly a talented lot. In theatre you are judged every time you perform. Your performance also varies. If you have a brilliant day you strike an instant rapport with the audience. In films you have to be really good at work. You need agility of mind and flexibility to adjust to every new act.”

Kirron concedes that she started her career late in the film industry. “I did Pestonjee without giving it a serious thought. The reason why I started off late was that my son Sikandar was growing up and for 15 years I was bringing him up.”

As an actor Kirron gets creative satisfaction when people close to her heap praise on her work. It was a high point in her career when Bariwali fetched her the National Award. “Rituparno Ghosh directed the film. Another one I am proud of is Khamosh Pani for which I won three awards. It was shot in Pakistan and had a European crew.”

As for her son's foray into Bollywood, a confident Kirron says Sikander has already done three films and is now doing a movie with noted film-maker Ashutosh Gowarikar.

A trifle annoyed when it is pointed out that she was being typecast as a mother in films, Kirron says: “If you observe my performance carefully, then you must have noticed that I portrayed a mother in Rang De Basanti in a different manner compared to Devdas. “But I like playing mothers to stars as most of them are my friends!” says Kirron. Despite doing some foreign ventures, the actor is not enamoured of Western cinema. “For actors getting work is important. My husband Anupam has acted in foreign productions like Bend it like Beckham but both of us refused Gurinder Chadha's It's a Wonderful Afterlife. I think Iranian and Korean cinema is far superior. Unfortunately most of our contemporary Hindi films are male-oriented and there is little scope for female actors like meI would like to work with Vishal Bharadwaj, Imtiaz Ali and Neeraj Pandey.”

Addicted to classics, Kirron says movies have to be made in a way that the audience gets engrossed every time they watch it. “They should involve viewers' attention.”

Kirron is gearing up now to share the TV screen with Sonali Bendre and Sajid Khan. They will judge a talent show, “India's Got Talent”, on Colors. Titled “Khoj 2”, it will have breathtaking acts and spellbinding entertainment. “I am privileged to host a show in which ordinary people with astonishingly extraordinary talent come from far and wide with performances that city folks would find it hard to emulate.”

Kirron knows that she is not a musician but songs that have rhythm and meaningful lyrics touch her heart. “You don't have to be a music connoisseur to appreciate good music. Confusion arises when average performers participate but they get eliminated as only the best of the lot survive. Luck plays a significant role in their destiny.”

Making it clear that the film fraternity was open to the idea of doing something for the underprivileged, she says: “People must realise that the film industry is a private enterprise. They cannot take responsibility for the poor. We must do something for their betterment but personally I am against the idea of giving reservation. My husband comes from an ordinary background. There were days when he slept on platforms.”

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