Thrilled to meet Sanjay Leela Bhansali over lunch, veteran actor Mumtaz says the web series could well be her swansong
Mumtaz with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Manisha Koirala
For ‘Heeramandi’, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has brought together a stellar cast comprising Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Huma Qureshi, and others. Fans went into a tizzy when a picture of veteran actor Mumtaz with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Koirala surfaced online, a fortnight ago. In no time, rumours were rife that the senior actor was roped in for the Netflix web series. A source tells mid-day that Mumtaz was approached by Bhansali’s team earlier this year. “She was approached for a song-and-dance sequence. It didn’t excite her much as an artiste. A few weeks later, Bhansali invited her over for lunch at his residence. Over lunch that was also attended by Manisha, he described her role in great detail. The part was everything you expect of a Bhansali character — a strong woman with a mind of her own. Mumtaz loved it and gave her nod,” reveals the source.
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The veteran actor is currently in Uganda, celebrating her birthday with friends and family. Her next destination will presumably be India for the shoot. Asked if she has joined the cast of the period drama, Mumtaz says, “Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the best filmmaker in India. I would love to work with him if I like my role. Sanjay is the boss and only he can announce [the cast]. I am not at liberty to discuss anything. It is up to him to consider me.”
It would be a delight to see Mumtaz on screen over three decades after her last offering, ‘Aandhiyan’ (1990). While the modalities are being worked out, she says ‘Heeramandi’ — which tells the story of courtesans in pre-Independence India — could well be her swansong. “I won’t do any more projects if I do ‘Heeramandi’. Sanjay presents his characters so perfectly that after the project, I will be spoilt. Nothing else can match up to it.”
Originally published at www.mid-day.com