Juhi Chawla

- Vikram Chandiramani 

Juhi Chawla is a character artiste today and figures in several ad films. Till the release of 'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani', her joint production venture with Shah Rukh Khan, she was in the top bracket as a leading lady. Knowing that an announced marriage may cause a major setback as Indian audience has consistently rejected married heroines, Juhi kept her marriage under wraps.

Juhi Chawla, an ex-Miss India, began her career with a disastrous debut, 'Sultanat', which died before its time. But Juhi, unlike many, got lucky. She was given another chance. And with the unprecedented success of 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' opposite newcomer Aamir Khan, she proved her calibre, and how!

Her immediate plan was to make hay while the sun shone. In her hurry to do so, she unwittingly took on the wrong kind of films like 'CID', 'Daulat Ki Jung' and 'Love Love Love'. Though the films did not do well at the box-office, they certainly gave a boost to Juhi's career. The heroine with the cutie-pie image survived purely because of her extraordinary public relations. "Everyone thinks that I am an extremely giddy-headed and frivolous young girl who cannot talk sense," she says, "In fact, people think that I only communicate in giggles and laughter - not words. But this is not totally me." However this particular sheen of craziness goes back to her school days. "I've always been a very competitive girl and I always contested for the school elections. Now this necessitated my being nice to everyone and always laughing, thus ensuring that I had maximum support all the time. No wonder I always won whichever election I stood for."

Her professionalism made her irresistible to filmmakers like Yash Chopra and Mahesh Bhatt and with films like 'Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke', 'Bol Radha Bol' and 'Darr' she established her position in the industry. She was even regarded as the Numero Uno briefly in 1994/ 1995 when Yash Chopra's 'Darr' starring Shahrukh Khan, Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla swept the box office.

Her forthcoming films are 'Swami' , 'Bhoothnaath' and 'Alone'. in 'Bhootnaath', Juhi Chawla co-stars with Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. This movie has figured in the news from time to time because it brings together once again these two actors who're reportedly at loggerheads.