'Thought director was crazy to offer me negative role'

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Juhi Chawla says she thought director Soumik Sen had lost his mind when he offered the actress her career’s first negative role in his upcoming film
Gulaab Gang.

“The first time I heard the role I thought he (Soumik Sen) has gone insane. Gradually, I got convinced after he explained it further. I thought it would be wonderful if I could do it,” said Juhi.

The director joked that he had to show his musical side to the actress in order to convince her. “I had to sing to convince her,” Soumik joked. Produced by Anubhav Sinha, the movie also stars Madhuri Dixit, who plays a firebrand leader while Juhi essays the part of a power-hungry
politician.

Casting Juhi as the antagonist of the film was Soumik’s effort to break the mould. “I had cast Madhuri as the hero of the film as it was in my mind from before, but while choosing a villain I thought it must be as big if not bigger,” Soumik said. “I was also trying to break the mould as Charlie Chaplin, Amol Palekar have done earlier and therefore Juhi was taken as the villain for the film,” he added.

When asked why he didn’t give credit to Sampat Pal, who is thought to be an inspiration for the movie, Soumik said that his story is a complete work of fiction and has no connection whatsoever with reality.

Madhuri, who was last seen on the screen in Dedh Ishqiya, said the film gives an important message about women empowerment. “Through the film we want to give out a message that women need to be empowered, they need to be educated for them to feel independent and get respect in the society. Rajjo is in every woman, there’s only the need to identify her,” said Madhuri.

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