MUMBAI—Mahima Chaudhary said there is a lack of good roles for senior female actors and this why she decided to stay away from the camera.
Chaudhary, who made Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in "Pardes" (1997) and went on to work in films like "Daag: The Fire," "Dhadkan" and "Lajja," said she prefers to do nothing rather than being a part of mediocre work.
"May be the writers and directors should start experimenting and writing (roles for older actresses). Even in Hollywood, I hear women complaining.
"Nevertheless, you do see them doing roles in bits, but here it's scant. You would rather sit and not do anything than being available to do very little work," Mahima Chaudhary told PTI.
The 44-year-old actor said it would be wonderful if people start writing some interesting roles for senior female actors the way they write for male artists.
"I wish people write more (roles). The roles that Mr. Bachchan is playing, they weren't before. People are actually writing for him. If they begin writing for senior actresses, something nice will come out. We are not saying we are as talented as Mr. Bachchan, but it can (be done), people will connect," she said.
Mahima Chaudhary was speaking at the special screening "Pardes," which completed 20 years in August. It was showcased at New Excelsior Cinema, recently acquired by Mukta A2 Cinema, a branch of Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts.
On how things changed for her post "Pardes," she said, "Life, career, everything took off. It was the most wonderful moment. The film continues to be a part of my life.
It hasn't been forgotten. The children perform on 'I Love My India' and recognize me even after so many years."
While it was her debut, Shah Rukh Khan by then had already become a big star, and Mahima Chaudhary recalled her first meeting with the 52-year-old actor.
"He (Ghai) said Shah Rukh is coming tomorrow, but he did not come. Then he said tomorrow; he again didn't come.
Every day there was panic and anxiety that he is coming, but he wouldn't turn up! Finally, when he came on the 13th or 12th day, we had got tired of even thinking he is coming.
"He suddenly arrived on the sets, and hence there was no anxiety. First day he didn't shoot, we just chatted. When he was doing his scene, we watched him perform in awe."
The first shot of Mahima for "Pardes" was in a real temple, and interestingly, it had a connection with noted actor Sridevi.
"My first shot for the film was the one where I am pouring milk on the Nandi cow in the yellow outfit which was actually stitched for Sridevi! It was bought for me and reconstructed. Designer Neeta Lulla was told 'bring a dress tomorrow' so she had that ready. She made it to my size, brought it and I wore it," Chaudhary said.