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Shilpa Shirodkar Is Back On Screen

You know what they say… Once an actor  always  an actor. Shilpa Shirodkar who was a prominent  actress  all through the  1990s with hits like Kishen Kanhaiya,  Hum, Aankhen, Khuda Gawah and  Gopi Kishen to   her credit, is  now back in front  of the camera.

Shilpa plays a significant role  in this week’s actioner Guns Of Banaras.

Speaking from her  home in Dubai about her  decision to make  a comeback Shilpa says,  “After I got married  in  2000 my husband  and I had  a  long-distance marriage for five years. I finally moved  to  Dubai and  was happy to be  a wife and then a mother to our only daughter.  But then I started  missing work…not acting per se. But just being at  work. I  did  a couple  of television serials.”

 Then this feature  film came her way from Rakesh(Rikku) Nath whose son Karan Nath was being re-launched.Star-secretary  Rakesh Nath was instrumental in  shaping Shilpa’s career.

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“I got in touch with Rikkuji and told him it  was only fair that  I should be  a part  of this film as his son was starring in it.Yeh  toh ghar ki baat hui. He  told me about  the role that I could do. I  liked it.And immediately said yes. Shooting with the  film’s  director Shekhar Suri  and the rest  of the team was  like  a picnic,” exults Shilpa.

She is now open  to other  acting offers. “There’s  so much happening in  our cinema  now. And  things have  changed so  much since I worked there. Everybody is  more professional now. In the  1990 I’d be doing two shifts  and running from one  studio  to another. Everything  was  haphazard. Now  everyone know  his or her job. It’s  a pleasure to be  part  of  the  industry again. For an  actor my age there’re so many kind of roles on offer.And  I’m not  looking at playing the conventional romantic  lead at this stage  of  my career.”

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Shilpa’s ten-year career as a leading lady  has left her feeling grateful for  the  experience. “I think I’m the  only actress  of my generation who got to work with  Dev Anand Saab in Return  Of  Jewel Thief  and Dilip Kumar Saab in Kalinga. Kalinga never released . But I did get to work with the  greatest actor  of  our cinema. As for the third in the great  trio of  super-actors Raj Kapoor…I went to meet Raj Saab with my mother at his farm for a possible  lead in  Henna. He looked at me and said, ‘I wish I had met you when I was  casting for Bobby.’ I didn’t work with Raj saab. But what he said has remained with me.”

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So does Shilpa’s daughter show any  inclination to be an actor?

“At the moment she has other  interests.  But you never know.Acting is  in her genes,” says  Shilpa whose older sister Namrata Shirodkar was an  actress, and so was their  mother  Gangu Bai and  their grandmother  Meenakshi Shirodkar.

Incidentally it is widely believed that Shilpa is  older sister to Namrata when in fact it’s  the  opposite.

“That’s because I did everything before Namrata. I joined  films before her.I  married before and became  a mother  first,” says Shilpa.

The two sisters remain  very close. “We became even closer  after we lost our parents. I make it a point to be in  India for  every release  of my brother-in-law Mahesh Babu,” says Shilpa  proudly.

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