Comeback is not a bad word: 'Vishwatma' star Sonam Khan

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) The term "comeback" may upset many actors who have been out of the limelight for a while. Sonam Khan, best known for hit '80s and '90s films "Tridev" and "Vishwatma", is not one of them.

The 51-year-old actor became an overnight star after "Tridev" song "Tirchi Topiwale" became a phenomenon in 1989. She worked in over 35 films during 1987 through to 1994. She quit acting following her marriage to filmmaker Rajiv Rai. They divorced in 2016.

Sonam, who wants to resume work in the industry, said she wants to reach out to the newer generations and, preferably, through a web series.

"(You'll see me on screen) very soon. I have been getting a couple of offers, which I'm thinking about... I'm very well aware that people below 40 don't know me. I don't have a problem with that because I have to make sure that they know me. I'm very interested in doing OTT.

"The reason I came back was to do OTT. I don't have a problem if someone doesn't recognise me... I am here to tell everybody that I was here before, I am here now and will always be here. That's one of the reasons I want to make a comeback. Comeback is not a bad word, so, why not?" Sonam told PTI in an interview.

An active Instagram user, she believes social media is a good platform when work is concerned. She joined the popular app in December 2022.

"Instagram is a very good platform where work is concerned. You are out there without actually being out there. People can see you... It's important to be very real on Instagram. It's a great opportunity for someone like me who wants to start working again," she added.

Recently, "Vishwatma", which was directed by Rai, completed 32 years and the actor said working on the film was a fun experience. The action thriller, filmed in Kenya, also starred Sunny Deol, Naseeruddin Shah, Chunky Pandey, Divya Bharti, Jyostna Singh and Amrish Puri.

"I have special memories of 'Vishwatma' because it was the last movie I signed officially. I told all my producers that I will complete their movies and won't be signing new movies. We went to Nairobi and shot all over Kenya. We were like one big happy family there. I became very friendly with Divya...

"We were working, travelling, and joking together. It was great working with everybody. Naseer saab was grace personified. Chunky was and still is a friend. Sunny Deol is a dignified human being, kind and caring. We also shot in Mombasa. I didn't know we had such a huge Indian community there. At that time, I remember they were totally crazy about the shooting. It was fun," she added.

While shooting the hit Hindi film, Sonam recalled how Puri, who played the dreaded gangster Ajgar Jurrat, came to her rescue.

"As there was a small gap in the shoots, I and other artists had gone to attend a function and I twisted my ankle very badly. Amrish Puri ji picked me up in his arms and he carried me back to the hotel like that.

"Nonetheless, the shooting was cancelled. He was like a real-life hero. Whatever you see on screen, he was nothing like that. May he rest in peace. He was jovial, he commanded the screen but off screen he was a gentle and kind soul. He was not the Mogambo or Ajgar Jurrat," she said.

The '90s were a different era, almost like "magic", said Sonam, as she navigates social media today.

"There was a lot of one-on-one interaction. We used to rely on our landlines, you had photographers clicking you on the set and now, we have the paparazzi. We had no script given to us. One day, we were told this was the scene, but there was no guarantee that the scene would happen. Suddenly, the director would decide he wanted to shoot something else. Nothing was planned as I believe it is planned today." Sonam made her Hindi film debut with Yash Chopra's "Vijay" in 1988 but bid adieu to the movies with 1994's "Insaniyat". Now, she is looking forward to returning in a streaming project.

The actor said she is "unbiased" about who she would work with and hopes others feel the same way about her. "OTT has characters, not heroes or heroines. Not a leading man or a leading lady. Age is not such a criteria. OTT has been a boon for actors, especially those who are beyond a certain age. It gives you the space to explore yourself and to be out there without being judged for your age or face," she said.

"If I was given a choice between doing OTT or a movie, I would prefer OTT any day. I want to be part of an OTT series where the story doesn't move without me. I have no ego," Sonam added. PTI RDS RDS BK BK

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