With Dear Maya, Manisha Koirala has a film releasing after a break of six years. In the interim, she’s battled and survived cancer, worked on independent films (shorts), and made plans to adopt a child. Scroll.in recently interviewed the actress, who had much to say about performing in films, changes in the industry, and her next film.
“Early on, when I had just started my career, Shekhar Kapur was directing me for Dushmani. He told me, ‘Manisha, flirt with the camera.’ I had absolutely no clue what he was asking me to do. I was totally lost and unsure if I was doing it right or wrong. Over the years I began to understand what he really meant by that.”, Manisha said. She was responding to a question on how the camera records and projects her face. She added, “When I see myself on the screen now, I know how far I have come since then. Luckily, whatever confusion I have in my head does not show on my face. I love being in front of the camera, I love performing. I also get anxious and nervous while doing so.”
Later, she said, “Over the years, I have become slightly more methodical. I come to a shoot more prepared.”
She talked about her upcoming films – Dear Maya, and the biopic on Sanjay Dutt in which she plays Nargis. “At the end of the day, the film matters. And no matter what the scale is, the intention has to be to make a good film, give it priority over everything else. In Dear Maya, for instance, it is a young, new team. Almost everyone’s first project. And everyone has been working hard on it.
These days, even if you are doing a big budget film with a lot of support available to you, you cannot afford to give it your 30 or 70%. You have to give it 100% or more. These are competitive times and everyone has upped their ante.”
Asked about her plans to adopt a daughter, she said, ” I love being with a family. I love bonding with family. Being married or being in a committed relationship may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But having a family is always reassuring. And it is great to have a child as a part of your family, even if you are not in a relationship. I have always loved the idea of being surrounded by parents, siblings. These are the bonds I have cherished.”
About Dear Maya, she said, “Basically the whole concept of finding love and hope when everything is taken away from you. The idea that no matter how much hatred comes your way or heartbreak you suffer, you should not lose hope because you never know what happens next in life – that struck a chord with me. It is a beautiful film.”