Esha Deol Takhtani is perhaps that one actor in Bollywood whose name reminds us of her dignity. She is one actor in tinsel town who despite her luxury of being born to star parents Dharmendra and Hema Malini didn’t go for a launchpad that was backed by a big banner. Instead, she made her debut with Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe in 2002 opposite Aftab Shivdasani. Although the film tanked at the box office, Esha fetched most of the awards in the Best Female Debut category including Filmfare and IIFA.
Later, the actress was seen in JP Dutta’s LOC Kargil followed by Yash Raj Films’ Dhoom, which made her a new generation star in Bollywood. After a series of films including No Entry, Yuva and Kaal among others, Esha took a sabbatical for about a decade before she chose to do Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s short Cakewalk. And now her latest film, Ek Duaa, which was released on Voot Select, is garnering appreciation from the critics and audiences alike.
Helmed by the Cakewalk director, Ek Duaa addresses the issue of gender inequality. The film marks Esha’s foray into production. However, what intrigued us was Esha’s idea about gender inequality since the film is set in the backdrop of Mumbai. “It doesn’t matter whether the story is set in modern cities or anywhere. This is a fact and everyone connects with it. No matter what we say, inequality exists everywhere. We wanted to convey a message of saving the girl child and I believe it is reaching people,” says the actress.
Since this is the second time that Esha has collaborated with Ram Kamal (after Cakewalk) as an actor and a producer, we had to ask about this second inning. “There is a creative comfort between us and even otherwise. He is such a good human being to have as a friend. I think he makes amazing films. He makes sure that women are taking the story ahead. It was a lovely experience to work with him,” she responds.
Being a mother of two daughters, Radhya and Miraya, Esha tells us that playing the role of Abida (mother of a girl child) was an emotional journey for her. “Being a mother myself added immense depth to my character. It was an emotional journey for me since I connected with the character so well,” she shares and reveals that her mother, actor and MP Hema Malini, also broke down after watching the film. “She loved the film and broke down in the end. That’s what all mothers will feel after watching the film. The viewers must have that emotional connect with the film in some form. When you watch a film like this you need to understand the text of the story to be able to talk about it,” opines the Yuva actress.
There’s another debut that Esha is gearing up for. She will be seen the web series, Rudra — The Edge of Darkness, alongside Ajay Devgn. The two have worked together in seven films in the past including LOC: Kargil, Kaal and Yuva among others. Rudra is a remake of the British series Luther starring Idris Elba. “It’s a lovely project. Ajay has been a wonderful co-star and there is a certain comfort level with him. We have done around seven films together. It’s great working with him again,” she expresses, adding that OTT has given a lot of opportunities to actors, directors and writers. “Talent is what is needed to be a part of any project on the OTT. There is such diverse content coming up on digital platforms. Actors have many options to choose from these days,” says the actress before signing off.
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