There was a time when mere casting big heroes of Hindi films ensured a dream run at the Box Office. And then a phenomenon named Sridevi emerged on the silver screen. She became industry’s first actress who single handedly made films blockbusters. Sridevi, the first superstar actress of Bollywood opens up in a hearty chit chat with Zee News as she gears up with her brand new film ‘English Vinglish’. The actress after a sabbatical of 15 years returns to entertain her fans in a new avatar.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Zee: After delivering innumerable hits in the past, you are making a comeback after 15 years. Are you nervous?
Sridevi: It’s an altogether different feeling. I am more than just excited. Acting after so many years, does motivate me and I am not nervous at all. I’ll give the credit to my director Gauri who has made a wonder film out of ‘English Vinglish’ and yes facing the camera after a long time makes me feel like this a newcomer.
Zee: Are we going to see Sridevi in a more mature role than what we have seen in the past?
Sridevi: In the film, I did what my director asked me to do. I totally surrendered myself to the directorial talent of Gauri. And even though I was facing the camera after a long time, Gauri showed immense confidence in me and I hope I lived up to her expectations.
Zee: Gauri, when you wrote the script, you didn’t have Sridevi in mind. So what made you cast her?
Gauri Shinde: That’s right. What happened is when I was done with my script, Balki and Boney Kapoor were discussing the film which I had in my mind and wanted to make. So when Boney showed interest in the script and wanted Sridevi to have a look at it over a casual conversation, everything just fell in place and that is how Sridevi agreed to do the role.
Zee: What tempted you to sign ‘English Vinglish’?
Sridevi: The moment I heard the script, the one thing which struck me was the character of Shashi. After reading the script, I developed a deep sense of feeling towards the strong character of this woman. I instantly related with Shashi and being a mother I could feel the emotions that the character required and it was then that I thought that I should portray Shahsi in Gauri’s film.
Zee: Your daughters must have seen your super hit films only on TV until now, but now after this big release, how excited were they to see you especially at the Toronto Film Festival where ‘English Vinglish’ got a huge round of applause?
Sridevi: As a mother I felt proud. My husband was also there along with my daughters when the film was screened at Toranto, so it was a special moment for me. Never expected that the audiences` reaction there would be so good… I mean it was overwhelming. Toronto was a great experience altogether.
Q. Gauri, how much of a trouble or help in terms of creativity was your husband R Balki who is also a well known director?
Gauri: Little bit of both…(smiles)…since he is also a great director, he understands and acknowledges the style of working of another director even if she is his wife. He, being the producer was very sensitive and never hindered in my creative pursuit. Both of us as filmmakers do look into each other’s work and give our views on what could have been done to make things better in our respective films. It’s more of a creative brainstorming where we share advises and listen to the each other but try to do our films in our own personal style.
Sridevi’s comeback film ‘English Vinglish’ is set to for a nationwide release on 5 October 2012.