From starting off as a child artiste in a Tamil film to playing a mom in her 300th film, Sridevi has mesmerised audience with her spectacular performances.
Post spending close to 50 years in the film industry and doing 300 movies, Sridevi is as humble as she was during her first venture. Yet on receiving praises for her work, the big-hearted actor gives the entire credit to all the technicians she has worked with. “My journey as an actor has been wonderful. I thank my co-stars, directors, producers and technicians who made this possible. That’s what queens are made of, isn’t it?” she asks innocently and with infectious enthusiasm, adding, “We have really worked hard for the success we have seen. We literally slogged, so we are happy if the fans go crazy as we want it that way.”
Mom is a fantastic film. Did you realise it would get so much adulation when you read the script?
Well, it is a very simple story and the subject is very emotional. But the reason why I did this film is because of the relationship between the mother and daughter. That really moved me and I always go with my instinct.
We loved watching you, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna in one frame. How was it shooting with these actors?
Nawaz is unbelievable. There are some actors who are very versatile and he is one of them. When he is a villain, you hate him, you are scared of him. But when he plays a vulnerable character, he is unbelievable. I am a big admirer of his work. Working with Akshaye and Nawaz was absolutely amazing. Sajal Ali and Adnan Siddiqui are all brilliant. I I learned a lot from them.
Are scripts a part of the dinner table discussion?
Discussion happens in every household. If you are part of a family, you won’t take any decision without consulting them. So, obviously, I do share things with my daughters and my husband.
Speaking of family, your daughter is all set to make her debut. Do you advise your daughters on how to handle certain things?
Like any other mother, be it in this profession or any other, I tell my daughters the right things to do. Work hard, give your best. Hard work always pays off.
You have seen Indian Cinema and the fraternity evolve in so many ways. Do you enjoy the things that have changed?
There is too much exposure today because of media, but we have to change with time. This wasn’t the case earlier so people didn’t know so much about us. There was always a mystery. Speaking of today’s generation, they want to know more about the actors, so everything works around that.
We have heard so many stories about you being an introvert and in a split second being magic on camera.
That is with every actor you know. The moment the camera starts, you have to forget everything and you become the person that you are playing. Only then you can do justice to your character.
Having worked with so many directors in all these years, who do you think brought the best out of you?
That way there are many. But Shekhar Kapur is one director who gets the best out of his actors.
If not an actor, what would you have been?
I love to paint, I think if not an actor, I would have been a painter. It would have been something creative definitely.
Words: PRATISHTHA MALHOTRA