Actor Neena Gupta is ready with a sequel to her 1998 superhit TV series, Saans, and is looking for producers and a digital platform
In July 2017, actor Neena Gupta posted this on Instagram: “I live in Mumbai and working am a good actor looking fr good parts to play (sic).” Now, the talented artiste has made a successful comeback. With memorable roles, acclaimed films like Badhaai Ho and The Last Color, and winning a number of awards, Neena is certainly enjoying an enviable second innings. “I posted that on Instagram because I was very frustrated that people were under the impression that I live in Delhi and don’t work,” says the actor in a voice note from London.
Neena, who was on a holidaycum-work trip with her daughter Masaba Gupta (who launched a store in London), missed the release of her latest film Adi Sonal that is included in a six-part anthology titled Shuruaat Ka Twist. Directed by newcomer Heena D’Souza, Neena plays the role of Sonal – a mother, grandmother and a mother-in-law. The character makes an unexpected choice for herself and her daughter-in-law, giving the climax a twist. “I agreed to do the film because of the subject and how sensitively it has been handled.
The film sends a message that the older generation of women has always been liberated. When the time comes, they say and do things quietly. They needn’t hold a jhanda (flag) and talk about feminism,” explains Neena. The actor’s recent film roles and public appearances stand as a testimony to what she has portrayed on screen as well.
From playing an expectant mom in Badhaai Ho to portraying the role of a senior citizen who falls in love, Neena is breaking stereotypes. “I think times have changed and Hindi cinema is trying to experiment with a lot of new subjects and ideas. The audience is willing to see these movies and it’s a promising start,” she notes.
Among her upcoming films are Panga, in which Neena plays Kangana Ranaut’s mother. The actor says it is a small but important role. Next, there is Akshay Kumar- starrer Sooryavanshi, in which she once again plays the mother’s role. She will also be seen in the thriller titled Gwalior with Sanjay Mishra. The actor is currently soaking in the international limelight she has got from The Last Color, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival recently. “It is a film that’s very close to my heart. It deals with a difficult subject – the life of widows. Vikas (Khanna) is a very sensitive filmmaker. It’s his debut but he has made a very important and emotional film,” says Neena.
The actor had scripted and directed the award-winning television series Saans (Breath) in 1998. Neena, who also played one of the lead roles in the show, had attempted to deal with the subject of extra-marital affairs. “Saans was ahead of its time. It was very realistic. It was a simple story but it worked because of the treatment. The audience could identify with the subject and characters,” says Neena who has shot the pilot of Saans part two. “It’s a continuation of the story, 18 years later. It is with the same actors, I am looking for a platform to support it,” she says.
While work keeps her busy, Neena continues to engage her fans through Instagram posts. Some of them showcase Neena’s love for dressing up, and gajras (string of jasmine flowers worn in the hair). “I like gajras because I like the smell and I find them very feminine. I am a flower child, I love flowers and flower prints,” signs off Neena.