|HOME BOLLYWOOD INTERVIEW|
Actors today are professional, on top of their game and well-versed with the tricks of the trade, says actress-entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty. She also feels the film industry is now in a state of "organised madness".
In a tete-a-tete with IANS during a recent visit to the capital, Shilpa said: "Today, actors do everything. They have learnt everything from their mother's womb and then joined the industry. They are all professionals. We learnt everything on job, at least I did."
Shilpa, who took a leap of faith in showbiz with a role in the 1993 film "Baazigar" -- a Shah Rukh Khan starrer which went on to become a blockbuster -- has remained a popular figure in tinsel town despite her absence from the big screen over the past few years.
"I didn't even go to an acting school. I learnt how to act and emote after my seventh film. I really don't know how I sleep-walked through my first few films," she reminisced.
"Today, when I see old films of mine, I feel, 'Oh God, what have I done". Today's girls are stylish, they have managers. We didn't even have vanity vans when we started," added the 41-year-old, who is married to businessman Raj Kundra and has a four-year-old son Viaan with him.
Shilpa believes today's "heroes and heroines are up and more on top of their game than we were when we started out as newcomers".
"Today the whole scenario has changed - it's still mad - but it's organised madness," she said.
After her marriage in late 2009, Shilpa -- who last acted in films like "Life in a... Metro" and "Apne" in 2007 -- has since mainly featured in reality TV shows, live entertainment shows and even turned producer with "Dishkiyaoon". That apart, the fitness guru has been active as an entrepreneur who runs a spa and wellness chain too.
For now, she will be seen as a judge alongside filmmaker Anurag Basu and choreographer Geeta Kapur in the Sony Entertainment Television show "Super Dancer".
Shilpa begs to differ with the perception that an actress' career ceases following motherhood.
"I don't know whose perception that was, because if you say that, then I don't think Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore or Sridevi would have been doing films. Times have changed and it will continue to," stressed Shilpa.
Nevertheless, she admits that with age, actors get restricted to a certain type of roles.
"I can't play a college girl (at this age). You have to fit into the character of what is being offered to you. Same was even then (in earlier times). If Sharmilaji did a role, it will fit her persona -- what her USP was - and fit the script. The same goes with today's scenario," the "Dhadkan" actress said.
"Today, if Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan), Kajol or Vidya (Balan) are doing a film, they are not going to play teenyboppers, are they? You have to play age-appropriate (roles) and I think that's very important," she added.
Has she found anything worthwhile for a Bollywood comeback?
"Well, I am looking through a lot of scripts, but nothing has excited me yet. There are so many directors out there. There are so many new filmmakers like Bejoy Nambiar and Ali Abbas Zafar. They are really wonderful.
"Gone are the times when you were looking at the experienced ones in the industry. These new directors are coming up with different scripts and they are really pushing the boundaries," she said, and added that she would love to do a black comedy.