Mahie Gill talks about essaying Madhavi in the sequel to the critically acclaimed Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, her favourite directors and doing her first ever item number
Last week, Irrfan Khan said he would have done anything to get Mahie Gill’s role in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s upcoming sequel to the 2011 film Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster – Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns (SBAGR). While he definitely didn’t imply a sex change operation, Mahie’s role as Madhavi in the upcoming film (March 8) is reportedly so powerful that it could be a career-defining moment in the actress’ life. “Irrfan is such a fantastic actor that his acknowledgement does come as a big morale booster. The role blew my mind away. This time, Madhavi is more aggressive and ambitious, and also more powerful than in the original. The film is a spectrum of emotions, quite difficult yet thrilling so I am waiting for public reaction to it,” says Mahie.
The original film starring Jimmy Shergill with Mahie and Randeep Hooda, a story of feudal lords laced with betrayal and ambition, went on to become a hit. In SBAGR, Randeep’s character has been replaced with Irrfan’s. Jimmy plays a feudal lord in northern UP who has to resort to contract killings to support his lifestyle and Mahie is his wife who is unhappy with their relationship. Irrfan plays a man whose fiefdom has been taken over and who will do anything to get it back, while Soha Ali Khan plays his battered wife.
Tigmanshu Dhulia (director, SBAGR) and Anurag Kashyap top Mahie’s list of favourite directors. She made her big Bollywood debut as Paro in Anurag’s Dev.D and has done critically acclaimed roles in two other Tigmanshu films — Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster and Paan Singh Tomar. “I really think that Anurag has given birth to me in the industry and Tishu (Tigmanshu) has nurtured me.” About her current director, she adds, “Tishu is a wonderful director. Paan Singh… was our first film together even though Saheb… released first. I still don’t remember how we filmed Paan Singh…. I think I just did what I was told to. But by the time we did Saheb…, I thought I was an actress and conceived scenes in my head in a particular way before coming to the set. And then Tishu would turn everything on its head. He has a new approach to deal with a scene no matter what you come up with! For SBAGR, I didn’t prepare anything. I knew he would be bursting with ideas.”
Faith in the director’s vision
“I believe films are completely a director’s medium, but the actors help execute it. Hence I don’t keep signing every single thing that comes my way. But Anurag or Tishu are the directors I can’t say no to. I will do anything they ask me to because I trust their vision,” says Mahie. That explains why this talented actress is doing her first ever ‘item’ number in Tigmanshu’s upcoming film Bullet Raja starring Saif Ali Khan. “Oh, I totally freaked when Rahul Mitra (producer), Tishu and Ganesh Acharya (choreographer) told me that they wanted me to do the item. I must say I agreed gingerly. And doing an item number is a lot of hard work! You have to take care of the lip sync, look good and get your dance moves right simultaneously,” says Mahie about ‘Don’t Touch My Body’.
Her next film is the remake of Zanjeer where she essays the iconic ‘Mona darling’. “It’s a typical glam doll role. I felt rather pampered in this film, as I needed to look good at all times and had people styling my look! After my deglam roles, this was a welcome break. I am doing a club song which is to be shot shortly.”