Given a choice, I would only work with Madhuri Dixit: Tejas

Director Tejas Deoskar on directing Madhuri Dixit-Nene in her debut Marathi film and why he waited for her approval to make this film
Director Tejas Deoskar is visibly thrilled that he’s directing Bollywood’s Dhak-Dhak girl in her maiden Marathi venture. The film, titled Bucket List, features Madhuri Dixi-Nene playing a typical Puneite from a Sane family. Speaking about the project, Tejas says he wouldn’t have made the film if he hadn’t been able to cast the actor. “I had written the film keeping Madhuri in mind, and it is true that I would not have made it without her. It is a slice-of-life, uplifting and relatable film. It is not about larger-than-life characters,” says Tejas, who shot the film in Pune, Malaysia and Alibaug.
The film also stars veterans such as Dilip Prabhavalkar, Vandana Gupte, Pradeep Welankar and Shubha Khote as well as other younger actors. Speaking about how it was to work with Madhuri, the Premsutra (2013) director says, “She is an absolute delight to work with. Given a choice, I would only work with her in all my films. She has no starry tantrums and isn’t high-handed. She made everyone on set comfortable and immediately became a part of the crew. She is one of the most easy going, approachable and honest actors I have come across.”

Madhuri’s role in the film is not a glamorous one, and Tejas feels unfortunate that he had to direct a film where the actor may not get to flash her iconic smile. “Ironically, I had to ask ‘the Madhuri Dixit’ to not smile. It was a heartbreaking decision, but the story and certain scenes demanded it,” he says.

Did the actor share suggestions or provide inputs while on the sets? Tejas says, “Only healthy suggestions. In fact, she had the entire script by heart and would immediately know if I made some impromptu changes. She is definitely a great heroine. But more importantly, she is a commendable actor.”