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Thread: The man who made Madhuri Dixit a star

  1. #3

    When we told Anil Kapoor that we are casting a new girl and that it would be Madhuri from Abodh, he said, "She looks good, but doesn't look like a cabaret dancer."

    Madhuri was playing a dancer in Tezaab, but she looked very homely in Abodh.

    Madhuri auditioned and passed.

    (Cinematographer) Baba Azmi also liked her.

    Hard work pays.

    Had I not put in some effort to prove to T Rama Rao that Madhuri was senior, I would have not got N Chandra that day.

    The Ek Do Teen song was shot in Mehboob studio for so many days.

    Listening to it so many times during the shoot, we knew it would be a big hit.

    Baba Azmi's lighting was superb. Madhuri really worked hard. That song was the highlight of the film.

  2. #4

    When the film released, Madhuri had gone to the US for a holiday with her sister.

    I called her and said the film was a hit.

    She was happy, but she was not aware that she had become an overnight sensation.

    When she returned to Mumbai, I received her at the airport.

    There was such a large crowd waiting for her, calling out 'Mohini, Mohini,' her character from Tezaab.

    That day Madhuri had arrived in the real sense.

    Madhuri did not change even after she became an overnight star.

    People around her changed; they started calling her 'Madam' and giving her special treatment. But she was the same person.

    I have always treated her like a kind human being, never as a star.

    Even after she became a star, Madhuri did not stop living her life.

    She would go out shopping or eating out with her sisters Bharathi and Rupa when they visited from abroad.

    At home, Madhuri would be like a jhalli (uncaring about her appearance). I am not saying that in a wrong way.

    She was a pampered kid and sleep in her mother's lap.

    She would go to the kitchen herself and get a thali of food, cross her legs and eat.

    Even today, she does that.

    I always felt Madhuri should be among the big league, so I would ask her to sign big films even if her roles were small.

    I asked her to sign Tridev because it was a big film.

    I wanted her to do Wardi as well; there was a choice between Neelam, Farha and Madhuri. I spoke to the (film's producers) Moranis.

    I wanted her to do Feroz Khan's Dayavan because he makes stylish films.

    Mithun Chakraborty was dubbing for some film at BR Studios. I showed him Madhuri's pictures and he liked them.

    He did two films with her -- Ilaaka and Prem Pratigya though they released after Tezaab.

    Both Anil Kapoor and Mithun would recommend Madhuri to their directors and producers.

    Whenever I asked her to sign a film, she would listen blindly.

    Even if she refused a film, it would be based on mutual decisions.

    The film that I really wanted her to do, but she refused was Judaai.

    She was offered Urmila Matondkar's role. She was not comfortable doing the extra glamorous role.

    She was willing to do even a small role in a Sridevi film if she was comfortable with the character.

    The other film I recommended and she refused was Veer Zaara,

    She said no because she was in the family way (Madhuri's sons were born in 2003 and 2005; Veer Zaara released in 2004).

    Prakash Jha wanted to do a political film with her based on a politician's life, but Madhuri said no.

    Boney Kapoor wanted to make a film with Sridevi and Madhuri, called Double Trouble.

    Madhuri said no and the film never happened. The script is stale now.

    Madhuri and I struggled together. I was in a better position in those days, as I had worked with Ranjeeta and Salma Agha, and was working with Anil Kapoor, who was a star then.

    I have known her for 30 years now, and worked with her for 28 years.

    I remember how I would start my day -- I would go on my bike to Anil Kapoor's house first and sort out his work.

    When he went for his shoot, I would have a list of producers that I had to meet and show Madhuri's pictures.

    I visited the whole industry -- I would travel from Juhu to Bandra (both in northwest Mumbai) to Famous Studio in Tardeo (south Mumbai) -- four times a week.

    I would persuade producers to take her. Slowly, work started coming in.

    After Tezaab, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri became a hit pair and did a lot of films together. Some worked and others did not.

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