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Juhi Chawla: Don't think I'm such a good actress to play Salman Khan's mother

January 14, 2016 4:38:18 PM IST
By Shaheen Irani, Glamsham Editorial
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The actress who was a popular name in the 90s – Juhi Chawla, was last seen in GULAAB GANG, and after a brief gap, she has also chosen to play a teacher in CHALK N DUSTER. We had the opportunity to interview the lovely actress and know more about the movie.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:


Is there any particular reason for saying yes to CHALK N DUSTER?
It's not like I'm getting a script everyday. As and when people come, I listen to the script and it has to move me or be something which I read and say wow. I've got to do this because now I don't want to be working on anything. I work because I love it, so I had to love what I do. In this case, it was the script and the depth of it. Before the script came along, I didn't think of my teacher in the way I am now, yet she is the person we all know. It wasn't just the story - there was so much more to take home from it. It's a very good screenplay and has got an elevating end. When you watch CHALK N DUSTER, you'll come out feeling happy and nostalgic.

What message do you want to convey through CHALK N DUSTER
Actually all that I said is all the things that I want you to realize. There are some lovely dialogues. Again, one just comes in passing but imagine what we've forgotten- your modern day gurus, who are your teachers. You can't go beyond anybody you meet in life who helps you or gives you knowledge. Like they say in the film, ‘Agar guru aur gobind saamne khade ho, toh yeh prashna hota hai ki kiske pair pehle chu?' Can you image this happening? That whose feet you should touch first because they are both so high. It means your teacher is as high as God but is anyone behaving that way today? Then there's another time in the film where I question (we are talking about respect or something) and I say ‘Respect? Respect is only for celebrities, politicians and cricketers. Have you ever invited your teacher to cut a ribbon at events or launches? That means you're not giving them respect!'

'A script has to move me or be something which I read and say wow'

How was it playing a teacher?
When I heard the script, I was a little nervous just because the people in the story are very real people and somehow, I could see Shabanaji (Azmi) playing Vidya Sawant very easily. I wasn't sure about what I was supposed to do because I played a totally negative character in my last film GULAAB GANG. It was like I am supposed to play normal but I'd still like to remain interesting and in this I must be real as well. I was confused and didn't know what I should look like or how I should behave. I have to confess that I has plans to study the character well before I went on to play it, but I eventually I went in without any real preparations. Playing a teacher was all very well and the whole journey has made me realize a lot of things. For instance, we've all been to school and had great fun by making friends, bunking class, getting punished and you've always seen a teacher as someone who gives you homework, tests, but you've never really thought about her and you've grown and become who you are today and that lady (teacher) has laid the foundations of our personality today. How many of us have even though that let me at least thank her or find out about her? Such things came to light when I was reading the very interesting story. CHALK N DUSTER is also very relatable because we've lived this. We all know teachers yet we know nothing about their world. This film is going to open your eyes to things that might be happening in their lives.

Are you in touch with your school teachers?
I recently got in touch with my school and told them that I realized what a teacher does for you after working on this movie. I wish to book a show just for all the teachers of my school. Many of them may not be there from my time, but after all it's my school. I wrote to them and told them about it.

Have you got any punishment during your school days? Were you a naughty kid?
I was not very naughty. Mera dil bada hota tha ke kuch naughty karu par kuch sujhta nahi tha (I wanted to do a lot of naughty things but nothing struck me) and then you always wanted a gang of friends, not the only one getting punished. Like I can remember, during one assembly I must have been in some happy mood, I was jabbering away to my friends and I didn't realize the teacher saw me. So when I filed out of assembly and was going to class, the teacher called me and I was clueless about what happened! She was our English teacher and her first period was in 9th standard and I was in 7th standard at that time, she made me stand outside the 9th standard while she took her lecture. I stood in that corridor in front of my seniors and got insulted in front of them. You know, you look up to your seniors and they are like little Goddesses because they were senior. I was into tears that time, but can't even cry because how could you in front of so many girls? After that I didn't say a word for the next two three years in assembly as I was so afraid to get punished. While that was just one punishment, I have got a couple more.

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