A stunning actress and a loving mother Sonali Bendre is one of those rare actors who prioritise family over work. After saying no to many character roles, she has agreed to feature in “Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara”. Releasing this week, her face has been kept under wraps during the publicity of this sequel to Milan Luthria’s “Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai” but she confirms that she will take forward the role played by Prachi Desai in the original. It means she is cast opposite Akshay Kumar for he is playing Shoaib, the part played by Emraan Hashmi. In no mood to reveal further, Sonali, who was in Delhi as brand ambassador of Oriflame India, talks about her life as a working mother and her time outside Bollywood.
How has progress in your personal life reflected on your professional identity?
I have always been myself and never concentrated on how I am displayed as an image. Marriage and motherhood have been extremely fulfilling experiences. I believe it is very important for people to maintain a balance in their lives. There are different facets of each personality and attending to only one aspect will not give oneself a holistic life. For this reason, I have never tried to immoderately pay attention to my external identity.
How would you reflect on your sabbatical from the film industry?
I have revelled in the time away from work. I stopped working entirely only for a year and a half and since then I have worked for a few months every year in the television industry. I have heard and read that the first seven years of a child’s life is the most crucial for his/her development. So I have prioritised myself as a mother for the last seven years. Unfortunately, every mother doesn’t get the luxury of absence from work as I did and so I cherish this break even more.
You are endorsing a wide range of products. How do you select the items you want to endorse?
I have always tried to stay away from products that I think are harmful. I base my judgement on the extent of my knowledge of the product. I make sure my intentions are right. But after all, I am human and I can make mistakes.
In a milieu of growing feminism, do you try to achieve gender equality?
Actually, I don’t consider myself a feminist at all. I am quite fond of chivalry which goes against the principles of feminism. I believe women and men are different and that difference should be recognised rather than dampened. Today’s feminists are forcing equality by feigning masculinity. But I love being feminine and I celebrate womanhood.
What’s next for Sonali Bendre?
I am featuring in the sequel of “Once Upon A Time in Mumbai”. I am making a guest appearance as Mumtaz which is a small but important role in the film.