I Get a Lot of Strength Looking at Her

Actor Mahima Chaudhry, who has been a part of popular films like Pardes (1997), Dhadkan (2000) and Baghban (2003), among others, was away from the lime light for over a decade. A while back, it was revealed in a video shared by actor Anupam Kher that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After being treated and being cancer-free, she is all now all set to return to Bollywood with an upcoming film titled Emergency.

The film, set against the backdrop of the emergency declared in India from 1975 to 1977, is directed, written and produced by actor Kangana Ranaut, who also plays former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in it. The political drama will see Chaudhry as Pupul Jayakar, an author, cultural activist and Gandhi’s confidante.

Sharing her experience of working with Ranaut, Chaudhry says, “Working with Kangana is an experience because she wears so many hats with such great ease. She is playing such an important political character, Mrs Indira Gandhi. She is directing it herself and is producing it. I get a lot of strength looking at her and the way she functions.”

Shedding further light on the character she plays in Emergency, the Lajja (2001) actor adds, “Jayakar was Mrs Indira Gandhi’s childhood friend, so my scenes are the ones where you get to see the non-political side of this great statesman and controversial political leader during the time of emergency. They are very open and honest with each other. You see a very different side of Mrs Gandhi. It’s very interesting to play this character and it’s been a wonderful experience working on this.”

Earlier today, Ranaut took to social media to share the first look of Chaudhry in the film. She refers to Jayakar’s character as “an important person” in the film and elaborates, “Pupul Jayakar was an author, a very close friend of Mrs Gandhi and has also written her autobiography. Mrs Gandhi confided in her about everything. If there is one thread that runs through the film and connects the audiences to the inner world of Mrs Gandhi, then it’s the character of Pupul Jayakar. Even though the film is a first-person account, it is not a film where somebody is the narrator. Mrs Gandhi’s interactions with her are the most soulful. They shed light on how she confided her deepest darkest secrets to Pupul Jayakar.”

Emergency also stars Kher, who will be seen playing the revolutionary leader J P Narayan, and Shreyas Talpade, who essays the role of late politician Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is presented by Manikarnika Films and is produced by Renu Pitti along with Ranaut. The screenplay and dialogues are written by Ritesh Shah.

As for Chaudhry, the last Hindi film where she played as the lead was Gumnaam – The Mystery, which released in 2008. She had a cameo appearance in filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s Kaanchi: The Unbreakable (2014). Prior to her return to Bollywood with Emergency, she headlined the cast in Pusher (2010), a British film, and a Bengali film titled Dark Chocolate. ​

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