By Radhika Bhirani (09:10)
New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Bollywood veteran Sharmila Tagore's six-year tenure as censor board chief comes to an end this month and she hopes that the information and broadcasting ministry will appoint a "forward- looking and open-minded candidate" as her successor.
"I have worked as the censor board chief for six years and it has been a great experience. I think the ministry is quite forward-looking; with Ambikaji (Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni) at the helm, we have had a very good team. I believe once you start going forward, no one goes backward...so I hope they get a forward-looking and open-minded candidate," Sharmila told IANS in an interview.
The 64-year-old actor has been serving as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson since 2004. It is during her term that experimental and bold films like "Tere Bin Laden", "Dev D" and "Love, Sex Aur Dhokha" were released.
Movies like "Omkara", "Kaminey", Ishqiya" and "No One Killed Jessica", with heavy usage of slangs too managed their way to the big screen, but with an A-certificate.
Sharmila's tenure should have ended at the beginning of March. But it was extended till March 31 as the ministry couldn't zero in on a suitable replacement. The name has yet to be finalised.
Her film career awaits too.
She is awaiting the India release of her British movie "Life Goes On", which will be in theatres March 25. Sharmila plays a mother of three, and the movie traces the changing relationship between her husband and their daughters after her death.
The actress played a mother in her last Bollywood film "Break Ke Baad" as well. But she says it isn't intentional.
"I don't have a fixed pattern in choosing my roles. I do a role only if I want to do something. At my age and stage, I am just having fun. I am free to choose what I want and I only do whatever gives me pleasure."
Though Sharmila is quite impressed with the range of Bollywood movies these days, she says she can't connect with the marketing gimmicks.
"I love the act of acting in films. I love each moment from start to cut! But after that I disengage myself from the project. In my time, marketing wasn't essential. Today, I know it is. It is important to promote yourself. But I have never done that because in our time, we never promoted ourselves," she said.
That is also a reason why she is unsure about how the Indian audience will take to "Life Goes On".
"The commercial aspect of the film doesn't affect me, but of course it affects the producer. The audience has to decide for themselves whether they like it or not. But I hope they do!"
"Life Goes On" has been directed by Indian-origin filmmaker Sangeeta Dutta, and features Om Puri, Victor Banerjee and Soha Ali Khan, among others.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)