I was tired of playing mom: Suhasini Mulay

Aug 6, 2006 Arpana

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Suhasini Mulay, the 50-something actress who surprised cine-goers with her sensuous act in Naseeruddin Shah's directorial venture "Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota", says it was a welcome relief from the clichéd roles she had been playing.

"I was fed up of playing the mother-grandmother roles. I was tired of donning Chinese collar blouses with saris, and tying buns. This role was different and I said 'yes'," Suhasini told IANS in an interview.

Asked if she had any apprehensions about the role, she said: "Yes, I was to some extent apprehensive because it was a complete departure from the roles I have essayed before. I didn't want Namrata (the character) to lose her dignity because it would have turned her into a woman with no substance. But I had full faith in Naseer.

"When Naseer came to me with the offer, he told me, 'this is a role of a failed dancer... a woman with a past but definitely a woman with a present. Possibly, she is in search of the right person and therefore, is tempted to go from man to man and this boy (Irrfan Khan) is nuts about her.'"

The actress' first break was in Mrinal Sen's "Bhuvan Shome". She soon established herself as a serious actress with Jahnu Barua's "Aparoopa". She also featured in Gulzar's "Hu Tu Tu", in which she had an author-backed role and won the National Award for her performance.

"Yun Hota..." gave Suhasini a complete makeover - she essays the role of a dancer attracted to young men and Irrfan plays her muse in it.

But playing Namrata wasn't easy as Suhasini had to go through a rigorous dance schedule under choreographer-turned-director Farah Khan's supervision.

"As I had to be a failed dancer so I did prepare for the role. I worked hard for months to enhance my dancing skills.

"I also had my hair cut. I had it coloured. So in four months Namrata's character had emerged. And by that time I had figured out how Namrata has to behave."

Though she was initially uncomfortable doing intimate scenes with Irrfan, rehearsals helped a great deal. "Yes, initially we were uncomfortable. But we used to rehearse together and reached a certain comfort level. So while shooting, we didn't have much problem. Anyways having somebody as handsome and as hot as Irrfan as your co-star is an incentive."

And she has no regrets doing the bold scenes. "As long as people like the work it is fine with me."

Suhasini praises Naseer profusely for his easy-going attitude on the sets.

"This is Naseer's first film. He wasn't behaving like a great director, but he knew what he wanted. He was open to suggestions and before taking any shot, he would hold discussions with the associate directors and the cameraman."

So, is she scared of being typecast in similar roles?

"First let the offers come in, then I will worry about it. Our films do not have that kind of space. There are very few examples of actresses getting opportunities to do something different - like Dimple Kapadia in 'Dil Chahta Hai' and Deepti Naval in 'Freaky Chakra'."

Sushasini is also "enjoying" working in soaps and says it is good to be associated with TV because most of the serials are women-based and offer variation.

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