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Meenakshi Seshadri Celebrates 40 Years of Hero: ‘Didn’t Expect People To Start Recognising Me’ | Exclusive

Meenakshi Seshadri became an overnight sensation on December 16, 1983, with the release of her second film, Hero (Photo: News18)

Celebrating 40 years of Hero, Meenakshi Seshadri, in an excuslive interview with News18, fondly remembers the shoot days.

For every Indian, 1983 will always be special for two reasons. First, the Indian cricket team became the world champions for the first time ever, and second, the fact that Hindi cinema was introduced to a gorgeous and charming young talent. She went on to become a Bollywood whirlwind that even made gravity feel jealous. Her smile and dance moves often left her co-stars feeling rhythmically challenged. Known for her on-screen charm, Meenakshi Seshadri became an overnight sensation on December 16, 1983, with the release of her second film, Hero, directed by Subhash Ghai.

The film was lauded as Ghai launched two new talents – Seshadri and the veteran Jackie Shroff, who also made his debut as a lead actor in Hero. Celebrating 40 years of the film, Seshadri, in an exclusive interview with News18 Showsha, fondly remembers the shoot days. “It is hard to say that ‘this one single point is noteworthy’. The whole movie just worked in every which way. I cannot pinpoint one single thing. But I guess I can say that the romantic films that started with Kumar Gaurav and Vijayta Pandit (Lovestory) and Sanjay Dutt-Tina Ambani (Munim then), after that there was a lull period. Hero came with a power-packed impact on the audience,” she says.

The film made both the lead actors popular figures in the Hindi film industry. The stardom and attention was totally new for Seshadri, who was just two films old by then. “I expected a good response [to the film]. But overnight success to the extent that I would have to stop going by the local to my weekend college classes, because people started recognising me, I didn’t expect that. Overnight I had to get my own car, driver and my own apartment. At the age of 21, I was set. Most people work so many years before that happens, but I think that was a good success for someone who never sought the film industry as an expression of the artistic self,” shares Seshadri.

The fact of the matter is that Jackie Shroff also became a popular actor after the release of Hero, even though he was never the first choice to star in the film opposite Seshadri. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai had initially approached legendary actor Kamal Haasan for the role, which he couldn’t do because of his busy schedule. This is what gave Ghai the chance to consider a newbie Shroff for the lead role. The film was also to be titled Sangeet initially, which later on was changed to Hero. “Subhash ji had looked at the project with different people and other options. But jo hona tha so hua (laughs),” says Seshadri.

Interestingly, Ghai also briefed Shroff to deliver his dialogues in a certain way in the movie. Did Seshadri get any brief on her role? “Subhash ji is a fantastic director. He knows when to step in and control the actor and dominate the flow of the scene, and he knows when to back off and let the artiste find their own creative expression. He did that with me. He had the trust that yeh classical dance background ki hai, she will get it. Even though this is just her second film.”

Seshadri is back in India after a gap of almost 27 years and will soon be seen making her comeback to the big screen. She recently announced the same when she was seen as a special guest in Jhalak Dikhlaja with Farah Khan Kunder, Malaika Arora and Arshad Warsi. In Seshadri’s words, “You knew me as the ice maiden before the intermission, but now I am back, see the passion.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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