Actress Madhuri Dixit, who has shared the screen space with both superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, says she admires the passion both the actors have for their work.

Madhuri, who worked with Shah Rukh in hit films like ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ and ‘Devdas’, also performed with him during a recent tour ‘Temptations Reloaded’ in Malaysia.

“I really had a great time working with Shah Rukh Khan. He recently got his leg injured but still he has so much strength in him.

“I don’t know from where he gets the strength and energy. He is always on fire and goes all out to be the best for his fans. He is very passionate and dedicated about his work even today,” Madhuri said.

Actress Madhuri Dixit
Actress Madhuri Dixit

She is also amazed with the work that her other former co-star Salman is doing these days.

“I loved Salman in his earlier films like ‘Saajan’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, ‘Hum Apke Hai Kaun!’

“I see a completely different Salman now.

“Earlier on in his career, he was very mischievous but today he is more relaxed and wants to do good work. I find he is a lot more committed,” Madhuri said.

“When you see him doing a character of Chulbul Pandey, there is a different maturity that he brings into it. I love his dancing too, he has got his own style and a swagger, which is really wonderful.”

She added that she’d love to do a ‘masala’ entertainer with Salman, provided she is offered one.

Surprisingly, Madhuri disclosed, that she doesn’t have any real close friends in Bollywood. The actress, who has been a star of Hindi cinema for 30 years, said that actors are too busy to forge close bonds.

The 46-year-old star, who took a break from films after she got married and had children, has recently starred in ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ and forthcoming ‘’Gulaab Gang’.

She said: “Age is just a number according to me, talent is the same whether you are 10, 20 or 100. I think it gets better with age. I also don’t believe in the myth about married actresses. I think it is crazy.

“Sharmila Tagore worked after marriage, Rakhiji worked after marriage. Yes, some of them quit but that was their own decision. There were so many who did work. There are no hard and fast rules,” she explained.

Madhuri, however, feels women now have a bigger say in the industry compared to earlier times and the advent of female directors and scriptwriters has resulted in stronger roles for women in Bollywood.

“The new age directors see women in a different light and write good roles for women. They are no longer caricatures of say an avenger, a victim, or an eye candy. They are people, they are characters.”

Madhuri, who won praise for her performance in Dedh Ishqiya and leads a starry cast in the heroine-centric Gulaab Gang, said that she relies on her talent, rather than networking, to win roles.

“I wasn’t networking when I was offered Gulaab Gang or Dedh Ishqiya. That came to me on the strength of my abilities, because I have talent to play these roles.

“And filmmakers know that when I do a film, I am very committed to the role. I am well-disciplined. So my reputation precedes me and that’s why makers come to me with the scripts. And not because they are my friends,” she added.

Dixit’s ‘Gulaab Gang’ co-star Juhi Chawla recently admitted to a rivalry with the actress at the peaks of their careers, but added that she is now thrilled to have a chance to work with Dixit.