Watch the video below:
It’s been 30 long years. I am nervous but very happy. And I am glad that I am giving my first interview to ETimes. I have been deprived of love for a long time. I want to get back.
The first thing that comes to mind when one talks about you is the bikini scene with Rishi Kapoor in ‘Vijay’. Were you comfy?
I was as a 14-year old would be. So yeah, I was uncomfortable but I managed. It is sad that both Yash ji and Rishi ji are no more. They were very supportive and we pulled it off.
Did you ask Yash ji if he could do away with that scene?
Never. I had grown up on his movies and I did exactly how he directed.
You said in our interview a few days ago (textual, not video, read above) that Rishi Kapoor introduced you to Yash Chopra. How did Rishi Kapoor know you?
I had gone to Feroz Khan saab for a screen test. That movie got shelved. I was then at another producer’s house where I bumped into Rishi ji. He told me that I should rather do a Yash Chopra film. That’s how it all rolled out. Yash ji did not put me under any exclusive contract. Believe it or not, I had signed 30 movies in the shortest span of time. But I got married very soon and had to complete many of them very fast. It got hectic, no doubt. But I must tell you here that Yash ji had told me that I should not get married. He said that I have a very promising career ahead of me. I owe my career to Rishi Kapoor.
Feroz Khan offered you Yalgaar, right?
Yes, but he made ‘Dayavan’ first. He told me that he couldn’t select me in ‘Dayavan’ because the hero (Vinod Khanna) was much older than me. He made ‘Yalgaar’ later but I had got married and become a mother by then.
But he could have offered you Amla’s role (in ‘Dayavan’)…
He explained very sweetly to me that once I play a sister early in my career, I would always remain a sister in the movies. Amla was an established actress in the South and for her it wouldn’t have affected.
You lost out on ‘Aaina’ too. That too was from the YRF stable…
Yes, Yashji was making that film soon after my ‘Tridev’ was released. I was getting married. He told me to not get married; he said that I have a very promising career ahead.
Was it Juhi Chawla’s role or Amrita Singh’s?
And then you wore a bikini also in ‘Aakhri Adalat’. Were you comfy in a bikini by then?
Yes, I was. I never used to think too much. Today’s 15-year olds are far different than those in our times. I had just one goal in my mind- I had to support my parents. I never even asked them about the investments they made with my earnings.
You were very uncomfortable in ‘Mitti Aur Sona’ where you had to do a scene where it was perceived that you were bare…
Again, I didn’t want to argue. Yes, I was very uncomfortable in that scene. I played a college girl who moonlights as a prostitute in the night. But I am grateful to Pahlaj (Nihalani) saab for offering me a role which was very challenging, something that many others did not.
And you stopped the shoot…
Yes, I did. But I was explained and given a chocolate- and then I was fine. My aunt came ahead, Pahlaj stepped in- but soon everything was fine.
Chocolates remind me of weight gain. You put on nearly 30 kg in a year’s time. How come you allowed so much weight to pile on you?
Pata hi nahi chala. Dhyan nahi diya. If you stress too much, you eat too much. If you look into the mirror, you stress too much. Get it? It’s a black hole.
One fine day, however, I said to myself ‘Bas Chabbu (Sonam’s pet name), now start eating healthy’. And I didn’t hit the gym. I started walking. I have a small house in Ooty. I got into spiritualism. I became a vegetarian. That all happened there.
Your interaction with Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Ajooba’?
Shashi ji looked at me and said, ‘Yeh shehzadi lagegi’. He was a wonderful man. Amit ji was very professional. There can never be another Amitabh Bachchan. It was my honour to be in ‘Ajooba’.
Who was the most punctual hero, then?
Who came late on the set?
Not taking names here. Sometimes main bhi late aati thi.
Most good-looking guy?
And did you get attracted to anybody?
Tricky question. The answer is Salman Khan. But I didn’t get to work with him.
Another tricky one. All had their own style.
This interview is being watched by many people. We wish you the best and await your return to Bollywood…
Hope that rings true. I am getting a lot of love on Instagram.
Just one more question. You gained weight, lost weight. Did it cross your mind ever to get botox done?
I wear my lines with pride. I wake up with losses but wisdom and experience. A line always tells you a story. So, no botox. All natural.