She was seen as a domineering mother in 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' but for its sequel actress Lillete Dubey has shed her over-bearing image and will be seen romancing Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere.
The 61-year-old actress, however, says the romance between her character Mrs Kapoor and Gere in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' is not the head-over-heels, teenagers-like love story but mature and subtle.
"The romance with Richard happens within the framework of my character. Just because an attractive guy like Richard Gere is showering her with attention it is not going to set her swooning and falling madly in love. She is not a young teen, she is a mature woman, who despite losing her husband has been on her own terms and managed on her own. That sort of a woman is not going get into a childish romance," Dubey told PTI.
"But she is no longer that domineering mummy. Something more develops for her character. People will know that she has a vulnerable side," she added.
After the success of the first film, original stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie, Tena Desae, Dev Patel and Dubey return for the sequel, which released today, along with new additions Tamsin Greig, David Strathairn and Gere.
Dubey said that there were no apprehensions about joining the second film directed by John Madden as her role is meatier and better sketched than the original movie. Besides that she did not want to lose out on working with acting greats like Dench, Smith and Nighy again.
"As an actor before signing a movie, you want to know how big your part is and if you have something new to do. This opportunity was presented to me in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. I love John Madden. I am a huge admirer of Maggie and Judi as actresses. Bill Nighy is a rock star. It is such an amazing cast," the actress said.
Dubey, who has starred in acclaimed films like 'Zubeidaa', 'Monsoon Wedding', 'My Brother Nikhil', 'The Lunchbox', said even though the film consists of an older cast, it is not meant for an elderly audience as the theme of hope and possibilities is universal.
"I think the the film is very cute. I don't see it as a film only for old people. It is a story of hope, possibility, there are so many sub-themes. It would be injustice if we say that it is a film only for mature audience of the age of 60 and above," she said.
Dubey said that working with such a great cast was a learning experience for her and watching them do their scenes impeccably sometimes made her doubt her own acting abilities. "I was performing with people who are super talented and wonderful. It makes you want to up your game and you want to rise to it. I thought I was a decent actor but I think I am quite lousy when I am put with people like these. Watching them perform was like a master class for me," she said.
Dubey is seen in 'Indian Summers', an English drama series which airs on Channel 4 in Britain, set in 1932 following the final years of British colonial rule in India. The actress plays one of the 15 principal characters on the show. Besides that she is also starring in an Indo-Italian production and awaiting the release of Indo-Canadian film 'Dr Cabbie', which also stars 'The Big Bang Theory' star Kunal Nayyar, Vinay Virmani, Isabel Kaif and Adrianne Palicki.