The diva herself will judge the show, 'Jhalak Dikhla Ja', on air from September 28. We ask Urmila Matondkar is she thinks she can control herself, when all the pairs get jiggy with it.
A.: When I got the offer I was just stunned and at the same time excited, too. I have some time before I begin my next project, and I though this was a good opportunity to utilize that time constructively.
Q.: This is your first time on television. Will we be seeing more of you?
A.: Not at all. The xilver screen has always been my first love. As far as this programme is concerned, it's just for the time being. However, it's also true that this programme will give me a chance to interact directly with the audience who has made me what I am today.
Q.: "Dil se naachenge…dil jeetenge" – this is the tagline for the show. How much do you identify with it?
A.: That is not just a tagline, that is a fact. If you do something from your heart, it is bound to touch the hearts of others. The song, 'Lakdi ki kaathi...', made people see the potential I had to become a heroine one day. The funny thing is that my family was completely non-filmy. And the truth is I cannot dance, and I never had any formal training. Any item number or song sequence that you have liked, was possible only because of my passion for my work. I believe that passion and honesty towards your work will bring you success.
Q.: Is training really necessary?
A.: Yeah, absolutely. I have never learned classical dancing, technically, but I had some training. Whenever I danced, I danced from my heart. And my suggestion to anyone who will listen – always give your hundred per cent.
Q.: You said that you never learned dancing and yet you are going to judge a dance competition?
A.: I may not have had formal training, but I have a lot of experience.
Q.: How will the participants be judged?
A.: We will not judge them solely on their dancing. We will take other factors into consideration - steps, posture, expressions, and of course, how honest they are to the tagline. Expressions will be the most crucial point of our judgment.
Q.: Do you think there will be some controversy in the show?
A.: I can only speak for myself. My entire career has been free of controversy, and I am sure I can manage the same with this show (laughs).
Q.: How much glamour will your presence add to the programme?
A.: I have no idea. But I am taking the programme quite seriously. I'll be the judge so I'll have a lot of responsibilities. I'll try not to do or say anything that may hurt contestants.
A.: In the film industry, we dance however we are asked to. However, certain dance forms follow rules. I remember that I saw a salsa sequence for the first time in the song 'najar se mila najar to…'. Now we concentrate more on salsa, jazz, samba and dances like hip-hop than Indian dances. For example, the song 'Mehbooba Mehbooba' in 'Aag' showcases American Latin dance. I don't think I'll have any problem judging the show. The only condition is their dance must come out from their hearts so that it can touch ours.
Q.: What was the most difficult dance sequence for you?
A.: All of them. During the 'Chhamma Chhamma' period, I used to work two shifts a day. When I came from the first shift, and saw the dance that was expected of me, I was simply stunned. I told the director that I could never do that, even if I danced the whole night. The next day I reached the set by 9 am and danced. My effort paid off.
Q.: Any unforgettable moment regarding your dance?
A.: When I was shooting my second film, 'Narsimha', I had to dance to the song 'Jao tum chahe jahan…' with an expert dancer. I was sure I would never be able to keep up. I finished that somehow, and danced live at Minerva Theater. Some people started throwing money. A one-rupee coin fell at my feet, and that was the best award for my effort. I will never forget that evening.
-Rajnee Gupta (SAMPURN)