Hema Malini Recalls Unconventional Filmmaking Approach of Gulzar at Biography Launch

Actress initially found minimalist style challenging in 1970s drama Khushboo

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Hema Malini Reminisces Working with Gulzar

At the high-profile Mumbai launch event for respected writer-filmmaker Gulzar’s authorized biography, veteran actress Hema Malini reminisced about collaborating in the 1970s drama Khushboo. She highlighted initially struggling to adjust when Gulzar rejected standard glamorous styling for a radically understated appearance. However the experience proved memorable in the end despite challenges adapting.

Director Wanted Natural Simplicity from the Star

Elaborating further, Hema Malini shared that Gulzar specifically wanted a pared down, realistic look in contrast to the elaborate coiffed hairstyles and bold makeup then prevalent for heroines in Indian cinema. When she arrived on set fully prepared for the usual elaborate costume and styling, Gulzar surprised her saying “No wigs, be natural as you are.”

Even Hema Malini’s Mother Found Styling a Shock

In fact, Hema Malini’s mother who accompanied her got equally thrown off upon seeing the very plain saree paired with a deliberately non-matching blouse laid out. This simplicity went against the ornamented glittering expectation for the actress. Though initially uneasy ditching her trademark glam persona, Hema Malini settled into the role’s quiet dignity.

Actress Required Adjusting to the Unconventional Process

Still, modifying highly familiar screen behaviors proved somewhat challenging. Gulzar’s uniquely subtle direction asked her to slow her speech pattern significantly from the quicker style used for emotive impact. When Hema Malini mentioned she had another shoot scheduled requiring an early exit, he insisted on prolonging the scene to emphasize gradual, realistic cadence.

Director Obsessed Over Small Details to Perfection

Additionally, as a trained dancer prone to exaggerating eye expressions while acting, Hema Malini kept getting redirection from Gulzar to minimize eyebrow movements during emotional moments. His repeated clarifications about maintaining control made her joke “My eyebrows seem to be dancing” though she respected the attention to detail. Gulzar compelled numerous takes until satisfied with the nuanced delivery and appearance he envisioned for Hema Malini’s role.

Launch Event Draws Luminaries to Celebrate Legacy

The special occasion marked the release of Gulzar Sahab’s extensive biography by author Yatindra Mishra delving into his over six decades of multifaceted work. Alongside Hema Malini, attendees included director Vishal Bhardwaj in celebrating the storied career of the lyricist, screenwriter and filmmaker whose aesthetic vision for complex characters shaped parallel cinema.

When fans in the audience requested selfies with the stars during the event, Hema Malini bluntly refused saying “We’re not here to take selfies” though she later smilingly posed for paparazzi. The exclusive gathering generated buzz around the arrival of Gulzar’s authorized chronicle recounting his enduring artistic legacy through films, songs and poetry.

By Mahananda Bhattacharjee

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