Supriya Pathak speaks about her journey as an actor and the role her family plays in her life.

Supriya Pathak’s career began with Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug — an adaptation of Mahabharata, in which she played the role of Subhadra. Her performance fetched her first Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. This was in 1981. Almost four decades later, when asked if she is satiated as an actor, Supriya replied, “Not at all. It has not even touched the tip of my tongue I feel. So, filling the appetite toh bohot door ki baat hai. I feel I am just starting. And I hope there is still a long way to go.”

She tells us that she never thought that acting would become her career, “I never thought this (acting) will be my profession. It just happened and I realised I really love this profession.”

The 60-year-old is a part of Farhan Akhtar’s Toofaan, a story that narrates the journey of a character that rises from the ashes to prove himself. Supriya, relating herself to the story, spoke about how she kept reinventing herself to keep the actor in her alive.

“In the 80s, when we started working, there were not many platforms to perform. We could either do theatre or films. But then TV came. It was another avenue that opened for us. It was a great development. In that period, there were lots of downs. So, I would say theatre kept me alive. Whenever there was a dip in my career, I had the theatre to go back to. I could do theatre and keep myself alive as an actor,” the Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela actor expressed.

“Then I took a sabbatical when my children were born. I didn’t resume work until my daughter was 12 years old. At that time, my husband Pankaj and I decided to start a company of our own. So, my children were literally brought up on the sets. They would come straight from their school to the sets where we were shooting. Even then, I was working but it was a joint effort,” she continued.

After her sabbatical, Supriya became popular as Hansa Parekh, a character she played in the television series Khichdi. While the world loved her as Hansa, her kids had a different opinion. “My children had more of a problem than I had (with Hansa). All their friends in school would ask ‘Your mother is like this?’ ‘Kuch nahi karti wo (She doesn’t do anything)?’. And because my children know me differently, they would be like ‘Nai nai, she does. She cooks also.’ But their friends would never believe them,” Supriya laughed as she recalled. “It was always a case of – ‘Mom, why are you doing things like this? We cannot convince our friends that you are normal’,” the actor shared.

Both her children, Sanah Kapur and Ruhaan Kapur, were also very possessive and didn’t want anyone else to call her mommy or mother.

“When we were growing up, my mother (Dina Pathak) was playing all the mother roles that were there in the industry. Ratna and I used to laugh about it and feel that we have so many brothers and sisters because my mother is a mother to everybody. Everyone, including all the actors, would call my mother ‘Mata ji, Mumma, Mom or Maa.’ So, I and Ratna would always feel that we have a big family. When I started taking up mother roles (in films), I used to feel my kids would feel the same way. But they didn’t. They were very definite that ‘you are my mom. Let’s not confuse that matter,’” Supriya chuckled.

Supriya, who belongs to a filmy family, also got married into one. When we asked if films are discussed at home as her daughter Sanah is also an actor, Supriya said that both her kids – Sanah and Ruhaan – take their career advice from their father and legendary actor Pankaj Kapur.

“He (Pankaj) is the better person to discuss films. Professionally, they are inclined towards him. My son is also an actor but he has not started working yet. He studied acting in London. He also takes advice from him. So, they all are similar sort of actors. I am a very spontaneous and instinctive actor. They are very thoughtful actors. So, they (Sanah, Ruhaan and Pankaj) have a lot in common with him. I don’t have so much to say because I do something when I feel it is right. I don’t have a defined way of telling anything,” She said, adding that her stepson and actor Shahid Kapoor is also part of these discussions.

“Of course!” replied Supriya when we questioned if her kids discuss movies with Shahid. “Shahid is their brother. He is their elder brother bhai! He is an integral part of the family. He is our main anchor. It is natural. They are siblings. So, they are constantly around each other. They are like any other siblings. We are a normal family,” the actor answered.

Supriya was also all praise for her daughter-in-law and Shahid Kapoor’s wife Mira Kapoor. Not a long time back, Mira had shared a picture talking about a delicious Gujarati Thali made by Supriya Pathak. When asked if she had the opportunity to test Mira’s cooking skills, Supriya replied, “She is a great cook.”

“She makes lovely appam and stew and Khao Suey. So yes, I have tasted her haath ka khaana. But sadly, I don’t know how to click photos and I do not have an Instagram profile, so I cannot share with you guys. But she makes amazing food,” she said in praise of Mira.



A post shared by Mira Rajput Kapoor (@mira.kapoor)

Supriya also spoke about how her husband Pankaj Kapur is her “pillar of strength.” The Masoom actor stated, “As an actor, I learned so much from him and have tried to implement that in my art and even in life. He is someone who inspires me, motivates me and challenges me. He has been a great support.”

Previously in an interview with, Sharat Saxena spoke about how ageing is a crime in the film industry. As we were concluding our chat with Supriya Pathak, we questioned her if she agrees with Sharat’s comment.

“I don’t agree. Ageing is not a crime, at least for me. It is a beautiful process. I am enjoying ageing and growing up. One thing that I feel is most amazing is that I don’t have to think about how I am looking or if I am dressed well. I am somebody who has always felt ‘Yaar jeena hai.’ I just wanted to live. Youngsters today have so much pressure to look a certain way. They are constantly scrutinised and I don’t think I could have able to cope up.”

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