When Tanuja felt ‘awkward’ playing Kajol’s mother in Bekhudi: ‘If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have done it’

Veteran actor Tanuja comes from an illustrious family of actors. Daughter of Shobhna Samarth, sister to Nutan, Tanuja was known for her roles in films like Jewel Thief, Yaarana and Anubhav among many others. When Tanuja’s daughter Kajol was making her debut in the movies, Tanuja was asked to step in in the role of Kajol’s on-screen mother and the actor said that she was very ‘reluctant’ to do that role.

Directed by Rahul Rawail, the 1982 movie had Kajol making her debut in Hindi cinema and Tanuja said that everyone insisted that she play her daughter’s on-screen mother in the film. “I was very reluctant to do that by the way. I hate these things where people insist ‘Tanuja ji, you must play the mother’. I feel very awkward in the sense that… Okay so people know that we are mother and daughter but then I don’t get the…,” she can be heard saying in an archival interview shared by Wilderness Films India Ltd’s YouTube channel.

Tanuja explained that she could not be as objective about the role as she would have liked to be. “I find myself very much subjective. I can’t be objective about the role which I would have liked to be.” Tanuja recalled that because everyone insisted on it and she had known the director since his childhood days, she gave in. Rahul Rawail is the son of filmmaker HS Rawail.

“There was really nothing very much to do but it was just you know that because it was her first film and well… I have known Rahul since he was a kid so I said okay let’s do it. But if I had a choice, I would have not done it,” she said.

Tanuja, now 79, is very selective about her roles now. She was last seen in Hansal Mehta’s short Baai in Modern Love Mumbai where she played an ageing matriarch to Pratik Gandhi’s Manzu.

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