It may not have been an easy year for all of us, but the entertainment world witnessed a baby boom during this phase. Amrita Rao proudly calls herself a 2020 mom, and cherishes every experience associated with her little son Veer, who was born in November last year. In a candid chat, the actress talks about how life has changed and her plans of getting back to work; she also shares that her husband RJ Anmol tells her that after turning mommy she has gone from being cute to hot. Excerpts:
It’s been a few months now, how has motherhood been so far?
Firstly, I still cannot fathom the phenomena. I look at Veer every day and feel, ‘Is he for real?’ The first thing a baby teaches you is time management and discipline. Motherhood is like a mix of emotions. Each day there is wonderment, excitement, exhaustion, love, frustration, joy, entertainment and so many emotions in one jar.
What is the one change that you can see in yourself now?
I never thought I would be such a hands-on mom. I could have an entourage around him if I wanted, but I don’t even have a nanny. Thanks to our profession’s flexibility, Anmol and I are doing everything ourselves, right from bathing the baby, massaging to nappy changing, and playing with him. And, yes, in the mirror I still look like that girl who’s come back home from college (laughs!), just a bit fuller though. Anmol tells me from cute I’ve become hot after I’ve had the baby. I think every woman looks hotter after she has had a baby!
You say you are proud to be a 2020 mom. How different would you say was the pregnancy experience for 2020 moms?
If someone told me I would be pregnant and at the same time, I would be learning to cook and do it for 21 days at a stretch, I’d have laughed it off. I never believed I could be good at cooking until last year. All 2020 mommies would have some unique story to tell their kids. Also, 2020 pregnancy was the healthiest because it meant zero junk food and pure maa ke haath ka khana. The phones were away and I was mentally more relaxed with no regret of losing out on any work during the lockdown. Having your husband around throughout your pregnancy was a fringe benefit for some of us and am sure it was thoroughly enjoyed. Shopping purely online for the baby was another super cool experience.
In terms of work, are you hoping to return sometime soon?
I already returned with Thackeray in 2019, and now, there will be no more breaks. Currently, I’m looking at a movie script along with one for the OTT space. Also, I’m super excited about associating with some brands that have approached both me and Anmol together.
As an actor, where do you see yourself today?
I want to explore roles like what Tabu did in Maqbool, Cheeni Kum or Astitva. I have always had a taste for her choice of cinema, even though those kind of films were considered different then. Overall, cinema content has evolved and that gives us many more choices.
Yes, things have changed in many ways. Marriage and motherhood is no longer an impediment for actresses as it used to be earlier. What do you have to say about that?
Interestingly, many actresses in the 50s, 60s and 70s were married, they became mothers and continued romancing on screen. Nutan ji and Sharmila Tagore ji are the biggest examples. Sadly, it changed somewhere in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, but thanks to many actresses of my generation who set the right precedent by marrying in the sunshine of their careers, now things are far better.
You did some good films in your career, but looking back, do you think you could have done a lot more?
I have done some unforgettable films that I believe will hold relevance for a very long time. Perhaps many newcomers today haven’t even seen the back-to-back success that I have seen from right from the start of my career. My popularity and acceptance was genuine and was not planned through PR and marketing strategies, yet, there were many deserving opportunities denied that were beyond my control because I don’t have a Godfather here. However, I cannot deny the fact that I have never had to ask directors for work. I’ve always been approached by the biggest of banners and I had the privilege of refusing offers because I was not comfortable with doing certain intimate scenes. My journey has been easy, yet difficult, because I had to carve my own path by trial and error. But the taste of being self-made is the sweetest.