Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 3, 2017)

After a long hiatus Manisha Koirala will be back on screen in Sunaina Bhatnagar's directorial debut, Dear Maya. Sunaina had earlier assisted Imtiaz Ali on Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal and Rockstar and the 45-year-old filmmaker who was creatively involved with this film, reveals that it's about two little girls growing up to become two beautiful women. “It's a lovely film and Manisha is the most beautiful woman in cinema. I'm all excited to watch it as an audience,“ gushes Imtiaz. The slice-of-life film about finding hope is being released by Rahul Mittra and was shot in Shimla and Delhi last year with the remaining two-day shoot wrapped up in April. Manisha plays Maya Devi who has lost touch with life. “After hearing the script, she sent me a message saying that she loved it and wanted to be a part of the film. I needed someone who can portray the different shades of life - happy and dark and everything in between. Manisha is a brilliant actress and she's been our support system all through,“ says Sunaina.

Quiz her on her mentor, Imtiaz, and she raves that that he is one of the best directors in the country with a rare ability to look into every intricate detail. “I have imbibed that quality from him. His feedback during the editing process was also valuable,“ says Sunaina.

Manisha's last Hindi release was Rohit Kaushik's long-delayed Chehre (2015). Talking to Mirror (Aug 4, 2015), the actress, who is playing Nargis in Rajkumar Hirani's Sanjay Dutt biopic, had admitted that she was hungry for good roles but rued that none of the offers were substantial. “I made some bad choices in the past but today time is precious and I don't want to waste it on substandard work,“ Manisha had asserted.