Mumbai: Popular yesteryear actress Padmini Kolhapure, who will next seen in `Maaee` says she is content with her career graph and feels life has come a full circle for her, sharing screen space with singing legend Asha Bhosale, who was instrumental in her becoming a filmstar.
The 45-year-old plays Asha`s daughter in Hindi film `Maaee` a tale of an elderly woman abandoned by her son. Asha who is related to Padmini, had introduced her as a little girl of seven to Dev Anand who then cast her in his film `Ishq Ishq Ishq` in 1975.
Padmini, who acted in hit movies like `Prem Rog`, `Woh Saat Din`, `Pyar Jhukta Nai`, said she was content with what she has achieved but is still waiting for her best to come.
"Each of my movies gave me new flavour and experience," she told PTI in an interview adding that she considers herself fortunate to have sung with Asha Bhosale, Lata Mangeshkar and be directed by legends like V Shantaram, Raj Kapoor and working with Nutan in movies like `Sajan bina Suhagan` and `Teri Maang Sitaron Se Bhar Doon`.
"I was not just a glam doll. Did some very good roles," she recalled. Padmini recalled how Asha would visit her house during Diwali with sweets and new clothes and toys. She would then say, "Show me how you dance. I would put her own records and dance. She would be very happy and would say she will put me in movies."
The actress said she had a great time as a child star in movies like `Ishq Ishq Ishq`, `Dream Girl`, `Insaaf ka Tarazu` and `Satyam Shivam Sundaram`.
"`Ishq Ishq Ishq` did not do well but the experience was beautiful. We shot Dream Girl in Los Angeles and had a ball of time with Hema Malini. I did not enjoy school as I was taken in by the excitement of being in movies. But, now I do miss out on not completing my education," she said.
Speaking about today`s generation of actors, Padmini feels they are better prepared, more professional. "We went with the flow. There were only four of us -Poonam (Dhillon), Rati (Agnihotri), Tina (Munim) and myself. Sridevi came a little later. Today, there are so manyt girls and they are all perfect."
"I was the judge on a reality show on Marathi channel ETV. Today`s generation of kids are raring to go. Their confidence and enthusiam left me really boggled," she added.
Padmini said `Bolo Ram` was her last film and her next `Bachpan` is ready and awaiting release. "These days it is easy to make a film but difficult to market and release it. Our times were different. There were silver and golden jubilees. Today is a different ball game altogether."
When asked about her 22-year-old son Priyank, Padmini said he is trained from New York film school and is currently grooming himself. "We have not yet decided to launch him in our home production. It is not easy becoming an actor . Its more difficult than our times. Earlier, people looked down upon the film industry. Now there is an influx. Girls and boys from the best of families have to join films. There is huge competition. I tell my son pull up your socks now. Its about time," she said.
Padmini who conducts acting schools and workshops in different parts of the country says every second child, specially in metros wants to be part of the film industry.
The actress said she puts her heart and soul 200 per cent in whatever she does without thinking about the outcome and result.
"I am very excited about Maaee and I am doing this film primarily because of Ashaji. This is a great story and subject. The roles for me as well as her are very good. It has a message and we are tackling an issue. Things cannot be kept under wraps these days, but I don`t want to be the first to reveal it," she added.
"We are not looking at a typical melodramatic tearjerker, but it is a very interesting and emotional subject," she said.
Replying to questions, Padmini said even though Ashaji is being very modest saying that she is pitted against a "great" actress like me, she will come out as the winner in this film.
Padmini credits her son for her comeback in 2004, "when I got married, I was completedly off films because I was too over worked, too busy doing too many films. I will not say I lost my youth. I had fun. But, coming from a typical Maharashtrian family, I thought the best is to quit films after marriage and look after home and family is my duty. Perhaps I was getting influenced by my own films," she
The actress said she was very happy doing nothing. When my son grew up, I was getting totally vegetative at home. "My son said you are a good actor, why don`t you start working again. I explained that for that I will have to be out of the house. He said its okay, you were there for me when I needed you the most and that got me thinking," she added.
"Today I am doing what I knew best. My son is also grooming himself to be an actor. At present, he is working on his diction, singing and production," she said.
Padmini said even though she has done two Hindi plays, doing Marathi theatre will be too much of an effort. "Compared to Hindi, Marathi theatre audience is very intelligent, intellectual which requires lot of efforts to meet those standards. Where as Hindi plays cater to a much wider audiences and are casual," she said.
She said she has never taken up television daily soaps because the offers come on a "flying horse". The makers approach me ten days in advance and want to be shoot with them for the next 25 days. "I can`t block myself like this. There has to be proper planning in advance," she quipped.