The Weekend Interview | Padmini Kolhapure on Missing Rishi Kapoor, ‘Hum Hindustani’ & More | Exclusive
Padmini Kohlapure speaks to india.com about her film choices, how Bollywood has become a tough place now, her bond with late Rishi Kapoor, and how her latest music label Dhamaka Records will help newcomers. Read on.
Padmini Kohlapure in The Weekend Interview: Veteran Bollywood actor Padmini Kohlapure in an exclusive interview with india.com, shared the making of Hum Hindustani song by her and son Priyaank Sharma. When asked how easy was for the makers to bring 15 legendary artists (Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Padmini Kolhapure, Anil Agarwal, Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher, Alka Yagnik, Shabbir Kumar, Shraddha Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Shruti Hassan, Tara Sutaria, Ankit Tiwari, Siddhanth Kapoor and Jannat Zubair), together for one music album. Padmini said, “Actually, in a way, it was not difficult as such as all agreed to come on board as we had a goal to make the song for front liners. When we told the celebrities that the song will send a message to people, so they all agreed upon it. Also, having said that, in a way it was difficult as there were so many artists together and it depends on people have their own time and space, track the song, record it, it was challenging but, it was all well managed by Priyaank (her son) and the director. It all came together beautifully. It just fits perfectly!”
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What made you start your own label Dhamaka Records?
Dhamaka Records is actually of Priyaank, my son, Paras Mehta and I am a co-founder. Priyaank is inclined towards music and he wanted to do something related to it in the music industry. Then that’s how he came across Dhamaka Records. He owns a music label now and is taking his grandfather’s music legacy forward. This platform is not just for renowned music artists, but also for newcomers.
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When india.com spoke to Priyaank, he had said, “I am not a singer and in the whole family of great singers, I don’t know how to sing”. We told the same to Padmini Kohlapure and she laughed saying, “He can sing, but you know how it takes a lot of effort to sing”.
At the age of 17, you did films like Prem Rog and Insaaf Ka Tawazu which gave social messages. Did you have that level of understanding of how impactful it will be for the audience?
Not at all, uss umar mein kaun sochta hai (who thinks at this age), even at that age, kids don’t even think life mein kya karna (what should we do in life), so I had no idea about it. Kabhi socha hi nahi tha, itni iconic films banengi and logon ke dil and dimag mein humesha rahegi (Never thought, these films will come in the category of the cult classic and iconic that it will remain in people’s minds and hearts). Filmmaker Raj Kapoor knew in his heart that this film will be remembered for many years.
Who helped you to make film choices when you were young?
I got the role, and I did it. When you get to work in a film by Raj Kapoor, it’s a blessing. My parents were obviously looking after my work. We all unanimously decide that yeh film toh karna hi hain (the film has to be done). There was no choice in our mind even to think yes or no. It was like karna hi hai (we have to do this film)”.
Indian cinema has evolved over the years, as filmmakers are now making more female-centric movies, there has been a lot of social media’s involvement these days. Is it better now?
Everything has changed largely, whether it is media, films and platforms. Pehle humare time mein toh films and Doordarshan hi hota tha. Now there are films, theatre, OTT, Television, YouTube. It has advanced so much and definitely, it is a great going. Our industry has grown so much and trend itna badal gaya hai, technology itni badal gayi hai (Trends and technology have changed a lot). Things are advance now but Hindi films will remain Hindi films only, there were songs earlier and still, songs are used in the movies. Vo maza hi kuch aur hai (It has its own charm).
Padmini Kohlapure on social media trolls
Social media makes people connected; people who love you can now get in touch easily. Earlier, by posts we used to get fan mails. Social media has made it easy for fans and celebrities to share their lives. Baaki har k cheez ka good and bad hota hai (There are always pros and cons of everything), so it keeps going on.
Talking about earlier days, did you get the kind of roles you wanted?
Yes, I got lovely films, lovely films, great banners, co-actors, filmmakers. I regret not doing some of the films like Silsilla, Ek Duje Ke Liye, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Taufa.
Do you think Bollywood has become a tough place now for youngsters?
Not really! But yes it’s big now and is not easy to get into the films. Not easy getting the roles one wants to do. It was difficult earlier and now also it is difficult. Pehle kya hota tha, 10 log the, 20 log the jo filmon mein aana chahte the, ab 1000-5000 hain”.
Padmini Kohlapure shares her bond with the late Rishi Kapoor and his family
I miss him a lot, bahot bahot yaad aati hai unki. Saath mein filme ki, bahot seekha unse, mein unki bahot badi fan reh chuki hoon (we have done films together, I have learned a lot from him and had been his biggest fan). I was very lucky to work with someone who I admired a lot. Bahut bura hua and I still miss him. Also, I am in touch with Neetu Kapoor and his family.
While wrapping up the interview, we asked Padmini about her niece Shraddha Kapoor and Rohan Shrestha’s wedding plans, she reacted shockingly and revealed to india.com, “Marriage, wow! That’s a strange question (she too giggled) agar waisa hoga toh khabar mil jaigi (if she plans to get married, you’ll come to know).
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