Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR

She’s made her way to be this top-notch Punjabi cinema actress with many hits and a humungous fan following. This journey being commendable, Neeru Bajwa also turned producer-director. She and Diljeet Dosanjh who make the most loved on-screen pair of Punjabi films – are back together with ‘Shadaa’. We catch up with the actress to talk about her upcoming film and her journey…

What did you think of the script when you came on board for ‘Shadaa’?
I thought it was the perfect script for Diljit and I to come back together. This is what we exactly wanted to present to the audience after they loved us in films we’d done together. So, this is a great extension of that.

Was there anything you worked on, for the role?
I’m not someone who really works on the role. I’m very spontaneous and so is he. We don’t really rehearse or discuss on a scene. We just react to each other once it’s action. Working with him is just so natural. It’s just some sort of tuning that we have, even we don’t know what.

Do you think it’s a great time for Punjabi cinema to reach out to an audience all over, with just content ruling and language no barrier today?
I do feel so. And especially for us, Punjabi cinema, it’s a great time. So many of our artists are now working in Mumbai. It’s nice to see a Sardar (Diljeet) doing so well in the Mumbai film industry, getting the kind of attention he has. So, it’s fabulous. We just seem to grow every single year.

You’ve come such a long way with Indian television, being a top-notch actress of Punjabi cinema, and then turning director…
I think I’m blessed. God has given me everything that I’ve asked for. Just to be a working actor is a blessing in itself. I see so many struggling actors who’ve not had the longevity which I’ve had. I didn’t expect myself to be working so long and I feel blessed to have that right now.

It’s true that not many actors have this sort of longevity, so is there anything you always worked on or aimed for, with each film?
I just give my best in whatever I do and I try to stay fit. That’s about it. And now I feel more confident. When you’re young, you have a lot of insecurities, I don’t have any of that now. I just feel so much confident as a woman.

How has acting helped you be a director and how has directing further improved you as an actor?
While directing, it gets easier to show my actors what I exactly want from them, since I’m an actor myself. Otherwise many a times when a director asks for another take, you don’t understand where you’re wrong or what is it that he really wants. So being an actor helped, because of my experience. And as a producer I know what my actors want – the small little things that can make them happy, and the small little things which can piss them off and cost you big money eventually. So, I know how to treat my actors well.

Do you still aim at doing more of Hindi films?
I do, and that was my aim initially. I hope something interesting comes my way, but just that I don’t have the time to sit here and meet people, look for something. I’m a full time mom and I just do whatever I can with the time I have. So, meeting people and looking for things here is just not in my scheme of things.

So, last words of ‘Shadaa’ as we wrap up?
I’m really excited because the fans have been waiting for us to come together after four years. It’s like an event for Punjabi cinema, so I’m really excited.

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