I don’t consider myself
as different or special. Nor do I consider them
bad who are interested.. ..in boyfriends, affairs and parties. It’s just that I have been
raised like that since childhood. These are my likings. I prefer playing with
kids in the neighborhood. Films happened by accident. I never thought of being an actress.. ..or that I will become
an actress in the film industry. When I finished my 12th exams.. ..I saw an advertisement
of a beauty contest. I wasn’t doing anything.
It was vacation time. I thought I will try. And to my surprise I was chosen as Ms.
India that year. You know.
Whenever a girl becomes Ms. India.. ..she gets either modeling
offers or offers to act in films. The same thing happened with me. I was in Mumbai with my sister. She lives here. I got a call from Manoj Kumar. “I am making a movie and
I want to sign a new girl.” I met him. He said that I
don’t need to do any screen test. “By looking at you I can
say you can be a very good heroine.” I was quite impressed by this. Such a renowned filmmaker
saw talent in me.. ..without any screen test. But I didn’t say yes immediately. I went back to Delhi.
I asked my parents. They encouraged me a lot. That’s how I entered
the film industry. I am pleased that people
believe those who come from South.. ..are good dancers and good actresses. And are usually successful too. I am not bragging about South Indians. But when people say this,
I believe it too. It’s true I am a South Indian.
I am a Madrasi. But I was not raised there.
I have grown up in the north. Actually, I call myself Bihari.
Because I was born in Bihar. I am a good dancer
because from childhood.. ..I took training from my mother. And I was very interested in dance. So that continued. People liked it too in films. I got different types
of roles as a dancer. And there is a lot of
music and dance in our films. There is a lot of scope for dance. I could find out
how successful I was.. ..or wasn’t through my fans. They like me for my individuality. They don’t like me because
I am a South Indian and a dancer. They like me because I am Meenakshi. And they liked my role and
my work in a particular movie. Yes. But you have worked
with all top stars. But you were not as successful.. ..in any film as you were in ‘Hero’. Why is that so? Look, comparison never feels good. Even if it’s with your own film. I think it would be wrong to think.. ..that one movie was so successful.. ..and another movie
was not so successful. Because every film has
its own limitation and identity. Its own success. For example ‘Shahenshah’. This film was a super hit. In fact, I think it was
the most successful film.. ..from all the films
that were released that year. But it won’t be right
to compare it with ‘Hero’. Because ‘Shahenshah’
was a very big budget film. It had Amitabh Bachchan. It was a different kind of movie.
It was an action movie. ‘Hero’ was with newcomers.
It wasn’t a big budget film. It was a romantic film. Usually it’s seen that when
you make a nice romantic film.. ..with newcomers, it achieves
a different kind of success. You have done films with Amitabh. How was it working with him? Amitabh Bachchan’s name. Whatever is written
about him or heard or said.. ..what more can I add to it? All I will say is that I
have done two films with him so far. ‘Shahenshah’ and ‘Ganga
Jamuna Saraswati’. And ‘Toofan’. I have done three films. He had a double role in ‘Toofan’. Mr. Mann had already
said that heroines.. ..are just decorative showpieces. But I was so impressed
with his honesty. He clearly told me in the beginning. I said yes. I worked with him for
the first time in ‘Shahenshah’. I was a little nervous. But people say he is
aloof or reserved or moody. He is the reserve of that on the sets. Completely opposite. He does comical things
to keep the other artists happy. He makes everyone laugh. The entire unit is completely relaxed. Work is good. That’s what I experienced
while doing ‘Shahenshah’. My role was of a modern girl.
I was wearing shorts. And people said, “Wow!
For the first time..” “..we have seen such
a glamorous pickpocket.” But it’s true that no one knows Mr.
Amit really well. Because he is such a kind of man.. ..that no one can know him completely. But my experience was
very good and interesting. It was educative. As an actress,
I learnt a lot from him. How do you keep yourself
away from filmy gossip? The word filmy gossip
has different meanings. People have preconceived
notions that it’s a bad place. Wonder what girls do after
entering the film industry. She becomes strange.
She becomes untrustworthy. She roams with boys the whole day. She stays out late at night. This is what people
generally believe.. ..that this is what happens. People are not normal there.
They become weird. But I treated it like a profession. I met nice people
and a few bad people too. I met some who were like me. I feel I am like every
other Indian girl.. ..who prefers to do her
work and head back straight home. I have some friends, some
family members with whom I socialize. I am not really interested
in romance or boyfriends. There are many girls like me in India.
I am not different. The only difference
is that people write.. ..so much about filmy people. They exaggerate it so much. And there are some
gregarious filmy people too. I stood out as
different in this crowd.