Actor Karisma Kapoor, who had taken a sabbatical from films to settle down in life, is now mulling over her future projects. Madhur Tankha finds out more….

Being the fourth generation of Bollywood's first family, acting is in her genes. Having settled down in life with her husband and two children, Karisma Kapoor is now bracing up for new challenges on the professional front.

The 36-year-old actor, who had taken a sabbatical from films, says she is ready for any kind of role be it comedy or serious cinema. “The perspective of the film-going audience in the country is changing. The perception and attitude of our men folk towards women has undergone a sea change. Even the advertisement world has changed a lot. I shot my last commercial endorsement when I was eight months pregnant.”

Karisma feels filmmakers need to derive inspiration from Hollywood which believes that actors get better in their skills as they grow older. We have female actors like Julia Roberts whose latest film Eat, Pray, Love is running in theatres in our country. Then there is Meryle Streep. Despite being middle-aged, the two actors are doing so well professionally.”

Karisma is carefully going through a couple of scripts before she signs her next film. She wants to do meaningful roles that can justify her immense potential as an actor.

“I cannot divulge my future projects because of confidentiality. It is not necessary that I get only heroine roles; I can play any character. I am open to the idea of playing smaller ones that have substance in them. I played Hrithik Roshan's sister in Fiza.”

I have been taking it easy for sometime as I wanted to spend time with my family. But I will be back in the film business soon, she says.

Karisma doesn't think that motherhood is a hindrance in getting roles in films. To press her point, she gives the example of Kajol. “Despite being married and a mother of two kids, she is doing such a commendable job. She continues to attract film-goers.”

On the professional front, Karisma doesn't have any reservation about appearing on the small screen. “I am okay to the idea of doing reality show. I recently did Kitchen Champions on Colors channel. There is no demarcation between television and films. Some of our biggest stars in Bollywood like Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan are hosting shows Kaun Banega Crorepati and Big Boss-4 respectively because they are receiving lot of love and affection from viewers. It is just becoming like Hollywood where stars appear on shows on television and give the medium a lot of respectability. In fact, television draws more people than even movies.”

Grand-daughter of illustrious filmmaker Raj Kapoor, the actor says that at some point she will take up direction. “But it is a long-term plan. I want to keep up the tradition of our family of making films. In my generation I am extremely proud of Ranbir and also my younger sister Kareena.”

In the male dominated Bollywood, where heroes call the shots even when they are in their Forties and sometimes Fifties, she has been fortunate to have landed heroine-oriented roles.

“I have managed to get heroine-oriented roles during my two-decade-long career in Hindi films. Fortunately films being produced these days are women-centred. A lot of young filmmakers who have a modern perspective towards society are in the business of making movies.”

Though a lot of films being produced in the tinsel town are made for the multiplex audience, Karisma says a well-crafted film will always run in theatres in cities and towns.

To emphasise her point, she mentions the name of Salman Khan-starrer Dabbang that became the biggest hit this year. It was watched by people in both cities and small towns. We are making cinema for every section of audience.

Describing herself as a health freak, Karisma believes in a stress-free lifestyle. “In the past six months I have lost 23 kg. However, I don't believe in depriving myself. I am a typical Kapoor girl, I love gorging on sumptuous food. Going to the gym in the morning is important for me. I do not just weight training but also lot of cardio exercises.”

Karisma would like to do some social work. “My husband Sanjay is running a non-government organisation that has adopted a village in Gurgaon. I will be going there to work for the uplift of the rural folks there.”

Shuttling between Mumbai and Delhi becomes hectic at times. “I love Delhi because of its big spaces. Life is more relaxed here. A lot of our films are shot here. Besides its greenery, it has superb infrastructure. The Commonwealth Games has greatly improved the city.”