In "Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan", Neena plays Sunaina whom she describes as a woman who, despite living under the shadow of her husband makes sure she gets what she wants.
“Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan” may follow the love story of two men, played by Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar, but for “Badhaai Ho!” fans the highlight of the film is the heartwarming equation between another on-screen couple.
As a middle-aged couple Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao’s affable romance in 2018’s comedy drama, which also starred Ayushmann, was a driving force in the success of the film, and the duo are aiming to recreate the magic with the upcoming movie.
But Neena said their on-screen chemistry has evolved with time as Gajraj was initially “very reserved”.
“During ‘Badhaai Ho!’, he used to be very reserved and quiet. He used to take a lot of permissions during the scenes which really irritated me initially. ‘Neena ji may I put my head on your lap like this, ‘Can I do this or that?’
“But eventually when we started rehearsing, it became easy. Now both of us joke around and pull each other’s leg. We are very comfortable both mentally and physically. We are able to feed off each other’s performance and people can see that comfort on screen which translates into an easy chemistry,” the veteran actor told PTI in an interview here.
In “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan”, Neena plays Sunaina whom she describes as a woman who, despite living under the shadow of her husband makes sure she gets what she wants.
“She is one of those housewives that you find in households where the man of the house is the decision maker, but in her own way she is very smartly able to do what she wants,” she added.
The 60-year-old actor, who is a National School of Drama graduate, said she had to keep her theatre learning aside to play the role.
“It’s a more farcical script. So I had to up my ‘sur’ by a lot. The tone of the dialogues and script was so set that if I tried to do improvise I could understand I was not getting the punch on time because of that. So I had to stop doing that and completely surrender to the director’s vision.”
Also a director, Neena said, she has no plans to go behind the camera as she is having the time of her life as an actor.
In the late 1990s-2000s, she directed successful TV series, such as “Saans” and “Siski”, in which she also featured, and “Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr”.
“I’ve missed acting a lot. I’m enjoying my acting too much to go back to direction now. But at the back of my mind, I’m always working on ‘Saans 2’ and it will happen when it will,” she said.
Besides her acting skills, Neena has been in the headlines for her style statement.
But the actor said she has always been “very fashionable”.
“It’s just that people think they are discovering me as this fashion diva because I have started putting pictures on my Instagram,” she quipped.
Neena has a long list of projects including Amazon series “Panchayat”, which reunites her with Jitendra; an untitled cross-border film with Arjun Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh; and Netflix’s reality-based show “Masaba Masaba”, in which she will feature with her daughter, fashion designer Masaba Gupta.
Directed by debutant Hitesh Kewalya, “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan” is scheduled to be released on Friday.