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Madhuri Dixit: "I have always worked hard and believed in whatever I have done"

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Actor Madhuri Dixit is busy judging the fifth season of celebrity dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa along with filmmaker Karan Johar and choreographer Remo D'Souza. Sreya Basu catches up with the dance diva of Bollywood in Mumbai

What are you looking at while judging Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5?
Grace, expressions, how they project themselves and how much they enjoy. I think these are the few criteria that I look for when I see a performance. Dance is impossible without adas.

Your promos already ensure TRP even before the show went on air (on June 16)...
Thank you. I have spent so many years in this industry...the factors that remained constant through eras are singing and dancing. We got such great dancers across the eras that we decided to pick one from each era and recreate them since the show is all about dancing.

From Meena Kumari to Kolaveri Di, how did you prepare yourself for the performances?
All I did was to think about the heroines of that particular era and their style of dancing and just recreated that.

Which one of all promos is your favourite?
The one featuring Motiyon ki ladi hoon main (Loafer, 1973) for sure. I had never done such style of dancing before and I enjoyed it very much.

We heard you are a good cook. From where did you learn it?
From cookery books, mostly of Sanjeev Kapoor (celebrity chef). I don't know about others, but my kids (Arin and Ryan) and husband (Dr. Sriram Madhav Nene) love my cooking.

Were you always inclined towards cooking?
No. Cooking was challenging for me because until I got married, I didn't use to enter kitchen too much...I used to keep busy with shooting. When we moved to the United States after marriage, I was on my own and there were lots of experiments, as in, something got burnt, something got exploded. Cooking has always been a challenge and I love challenges.

What is your husband's favourite dish?
My husband loves North Indian food very much...chicken tikka masala, nun and everything.

Madame Tussauds London gallery now boasts of your wax statue. How did it feel while you unveiled the statue (in March) ?
The first thing I thought when I looked at the statue for the first time was 'Had I had a twin sister, she would have exactly like this'. It's very flattering and I am honoured. You know, something like this is for posterity... the legacy I will leave behind. I am thankful to all my fans who have supported me through all these years.

You are famous for your smile so much so that you have been roped in for Oral B Smile India Movement as the chief smile officer. What's the secret of your smile?
(Laughs) There is no secret but happiness. Also it's that I am confident and have good teeth and take care of them.

So now that you are a chief smile officer, what tips would you give to our cavity-prone nation?
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and visit your dentist every six months. That's all I would say.

You are considered an inspiration by today's actresses including Vidya Balan and Katrina Kaif. What do you have to say about that?
I don't know. I have always worked hard and believed in whatever I have done. It feels wonderful to be recognized and liked by them.

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