Manisha Koirala: If I have to sacrifice my vanity for a character I am ready

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After a long gap from movies, veteran actress Manisha Koirala made her Bollywood comeback with ‘Dear Maya’ that released last year. Though the film didn’t fare well at the box office, Manisha’s performance in the film was appreciated by the critics as well as the audiences.

This year the ‘1942: A Love Story’ actress featured in two films – ‘Sanju’ and Netflix’s ‘Lust Stories‘. Interestingly her roles in both the films were poles apart.

Talking about her recent choices of films, Manisha told IANS, “I think I am more liberated as an artist in my late 40s. I was having a conversation with Shabana Azmiji where she was saying, ‘As an actress and as a woman, we always want to look good. How did you become so carefree?’ I think the greedy actor in me takes over at times. Being a woman, I want to look pretty in every phase of my life… but I also love acting. If I have to sacrifice my vanity for a character that I am excited to play, I am ready.

The ‘Sanju’ actress even said that if the script demands her to be glamorous then she will work on her looks. “Basically, my priority is the character first. I have done my share of looking glamorous on-screen in many films,” said the actress.

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Talking about taking up ‘Sanju’, Manisha shared, “I was quite nervous about how people will receive me in the film where I am playing the role of an iconic actress Nargis Dutt. I was more worried because I knew how great the rest of the actors were in the film. They were brilliant and my worry was whether people would notice my performance among those great performances.

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I am still one of those actresses who need people’s appreciation to know that I have done the right thing. Even after spending a substantial time in the Entertainment business, before the release of a film, I am nervous,” she further added.

In ‘Lust Stories’, an anthology of four films, we saw Manisha playing a complex woman in a relationship with her husband’s best friend. Interestingly we saw Manisha wear a swimsuit for the first time in this film. Revealing about how director Dibakar Banerjee convinced her to wear a swimsuit, Manisha shared, “That was the idea of director Dibakar Banerjee. He came to me saying this is how he wants the scene to be, and my first reaction was like, ‘Why? I mean in my youth, I never wore a swimsuit in films. Then Dibakar put his best effort and logic to convince me saying, ‘People have not seen you in a swimsuit on-screen and that is precisely the reason we should do it.’ Well, then I took it up.

Sharing about the dilemma she faced while playing the role of Reena(who has extra-marital affair) in ‘Lust Stories’, Manisha shared, “Well, I went through the dilemma in my head while playing Reena. It is not easy to be non-judgmental about the character I play.”

When asked about whether she would take up a role of a typical mother that actress her age are usually offered, she said, “I will wait for the right role instead of the typical ones. But I think now cinema is changing and filmmakers, audiences and critics have started appreciating all kinds of cinema. Meaty roles are written for middle-aged women. If I am offered something like that, I will surely do it,