• Monday, May 27, 2024


Genelia on her 10-year sabbatical from screen: I’d have taken more time if it wasn’t for Riteish

Genelia, who shares sons Riaan (nine) and Rahyl (six) with Riteish, said her husband had her back both at home and work.

Riteish Deshmukh and his wife Genelia DSouza (Photo by SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

Actor Genelia Deshmukh says her decade-long break from showbiz helped her breathe life into the character of Shravani from her latest film release “Ved”, which marks the directorial debut of her husband-actor Riteish Deshmukh.

While she appeared in cameos through the years in Hindi films such as “Jai Ho” and “Force 2”, Marathi movie “Ved” is her full-fledged role since the 2012 Telugu title “Naa Ishtam”.

The 35-year-old actor said the unplanned hiatus added layers to Shravani, an Indian Railways employee who is in love with her childhood crush and now her alcoholic husband Satya (Riteish). Satya, on the other hand, is pining for his former girlfriend Nisha (Jiya Shankar).

“The 10-year break gave me a chance to do other things in life, be a homemaker, to have children with my husband. Today, I feel nothing was designed or planned. But when I look at it, it’s also a homemaker’s character, and I think it helped…

“As an actor, I take things from life, be it mine or someone else’s. If I wasn’t a homemaker or wife, I would never have been able to play Shravani’s character,” Genelia told PTI in an interview here.

Had it not been for Riteish, with whom she made her acting debut in 2003’s “Tujhe Meri Kasam”, she said she would have taken more time to resume work in films. “Ved” is her maiden Marathi feature film on which she also serves as producer.

During these 10 years, filmmakers approached her with offers but she thought it wasn’t the right time to get back on set, said the actor, whose film credits include “Masti”, “Bommarillu”, “Urumi”, and “Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na”.

“There were quite a few films, which I thought wasn’t the right time for me. Honestly, I’d have taken a lot more time if it wasn’t for Riteish. He said that ‘Now it’s time to get back to doing what you’re good at and what you like doing’.”

Genelia, who shares sons Riaan (nine) and Rahyl (six) with Riteish, said her husband had her back both at home and work.

“I love being a mum. I always think ‘What if my children are getting neglected?’ But, he always steps in and says, ‘If you’re working, I’ll be the person who sees the house, I’ll be the homemaker’. That kind of understanding and support gives me the chance to do a film,” she added.

For someone who has featured in movies across Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam languages, the Mumbai-born actor said she is proud to add Marathi to her filmography.

“I love what I’ve done. I think I’ve had the good fortune to have worked in six industries and have had very prominent and positive films in each industry. Like I say, count your blessings. I’m extremely happy if someone offers me a film.

“And if I’m their actor in that film, they work with me like there’s no one else who can do that role, and that’s why I keep going from one industry to the other because it stimulates me,” she said.

Mounted on a reported budget of Rs 15 crore, “Ved” has earned over Rs 30 crore since its December 30 release.


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