Veteran actress Neetu Kapoor, who has a string of notable films and memorable characters to her credit, has just added a new feather to her cap. She is currently seen gracing the judging panel of Colors’ dance reality show Dance Deewane Juniors, which hit the airwaves this weekend.
Days before the show started airing, BollywoodMDB met the Rafoo Chakkar (1975) star at The Westin Hotel in Mumbai and spoke to her about the new inning of her career, what convinced her to come onboard to judge Dance Deewane Juniors, and so much more. Read on…
You have turned a judge for Dance Deewane Juniors. How excited are you about it?
You don’t know how excited I am because it is a show for kids and I am very emotionally attached to kids. I was very happy when the makers approached me for the show. This is a new phase for me. I also did a film after Rishiji’s demise. It made me feel good. I felt happy. Then I did Indian Idol and two more shows. So, you know, it has been a healing process for me.
What led you to say yes to Dance Deewane Juniors?
So, when this show came to me – and that too a kids show – I thought this would completely make me feel great, you know, which I need to be 100% okay. So, for that reason, I did this and I am feeling so happy doing it. We see those kids and they are so good. Everybody is so talented; they are fantastic. They are hard core dancers, you know. And the dance forms they perform have weird names. I don’t know, like they do some popping and then they do something I have no idea about. But Nora Fatehi and Marzi Pestonjee, the two naughty children, keep explaining it to me. They tell me, “This is popping and this is free style”. So, I am learning. Our generations had those thumkas, Bharatnatyam, etc. I am a Bharatnatyam dancer myself. So, there were Bharatnatyam, classical dance forms or there was that Bhagwan Dada type song. Basically, the two to three forms. There were not so many forms. Today, there are like so many and everybody is so amazing, you know. It is like I am really enjoying watching them. But I feel really bad criticizing them. That I don’t like.
Children have great energy. Do they rub it on you?
I might be old but by heart, I am still a kid. I love to dance. I like to be happy. I don’t like to be sad. Life should move on. I cannot be at one place or feel depressed or feel sad.
You said that this is a new phase for you. Did you convince yourself to do this or did someone just do it for you?
After Rishiji’s demise, the film Jug Jugg Jeeyo was offered to me. I was a bit apprehensive about it and I was like, “I am not okay mentally. How will I do it?” But I pushed myself. I said, “Let’s do it.” I challenged myself and I felt better. On the very first day, I felt horrible, but then it got better and as the movie progressed, I started feeling better, more confident. Then it becomes a part of you. So, all these things matter a lot whenever you are going through some phase. To be busy, do something, get out of that whole scenario, that whole thing that is going on in your head, to change your thinking. So, it has helped me a lot. Whatever I am doing now is all my choice. Whatever I did in the past was when I was a child actor. I went on to do some 70-80 films. It was robotic. It was like a part of my job. But now is something which I want to do. Because I want to work, because I want to be busy, not because I need to work for a living. I am alone now, my children are settled. I am okay, I am fine. But I need to be busy. I need something to look forward to.
Rishiji’s Sharmaji Namkeen is also about the second innings.
Yeah, exactly. It’s the same what I am talking about. Whether you are making sweets or doing films, you are busy. You are not glued to the TV the whole day. When a person watches TV shows every single day, he gets fed up. I relate to that completely, especially my life now when I am alone. Rishiji had a full-time job. He kept me busy. So, after he has gone, what do I do? And there was nobody in the house. So I said now we have to do something about life. And no more crying and no more being sad. Let’s just have fun.
Acting is different and judging is a different ball game altogether. How much do you think you could contribute to being a judge?
When it comes to judging, I am not talented. It’s not about talent here, you have to be quick in your head. Right now, my head is all gone. But you have to be good in your head. That’s it. See, there is no scripting here. So, you need not be talented. But you should just feel the children, feel the energy and say what you feel like saying it.
So, what kind of a judge will you be?
I would be more like an emotional judge. I will say whatever I have to say in a nicer way. I can’t hurt children, you know. They are such cute children. They are such adorable children.
Be it your personal or professional life, do you think things are taking a positive turn now?
I am absolutely enjoying it. When good things happen, you enjoy and I am really enjoying this new phase. Because it is making me stronger, it is making me good, it is healing me and I am enjoying every moment of it.