Juuhi Babbar Sonii
After a break of 12 years, Juuhi Babbar Sonii has finally made her comeback on the big screen with Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary. Read on as the actor talks to Divya Ramnani about her career, family and much more…
You have returned on the big screen after a break of 12 years. Any particular reason? I wasn’t really getting good work and I believe it’s better to be without work than to be known for work that is mediocre about which when you look back, you feel terrible about and say ‘omg yeh maine kya kiya tha?. And I had thought that when my son Imman turns five, I would consider doing films again. There had been a lot of film offers in between the time I was expecting Imman and when he was just born, so obviously I couldn’t do it. Television offers have been too many but I haven’t taken anything because I didn’t want to work for long hours and wasn’t keen in doing the kind of work offered. And before Imman could turn five, I guess it was some kind of telepathy between Neeraj sir and me, and one day, he suddenly called (laughs).
How did Aiyaary happen? Neeraj sir called me one day and said that he wanted to meet me and asked me to do the film. And I was like what would I have to do because these days with due respect, everybody wants an audition. But he said ‘You just have to say yes’. I thought ab bolenge audition ab bolenge reading, but nothing at all. Isn’t that wonderful? Not because he said, ‘yes’ or wanted me but because as a director, he just knows what he wants. I am the face he sees opposite Manoj as Abhay and I am the Priya he wants, so he was clear in his head. Once I was finalised and my dates were locked, after that he did my look test.
How was Manoj as a co-star? I couldn’t ask for a better co-star. God has been extremely kind to me. Firstly, I get a director like Neeraj Pandey and then he gives me a co-actor like Manoj Bajpayee, it can’t any get better! He was so supportive and encouraging, he didn’t make me feel like I am working after 12 long years even for a second. There was a great comfort level. He has his own rapport with my dad, brother and husband because they have worked together at different points of time in the past.
Share your experience of working with Neeraj Pandey? He is such a disciplinarian but he has a great sense of humour as well. And Neeraj sir and Manoj have worked together a couple of times in the past, they share a great bond. They used to crack a lot of funny jokes and kept including me, which made the atmosphere very funny and light for me.
With Anoop Soni