Sridevi — the full story

Sridevi, the diva always

One normally gets to interview stars either when they are riding high on the popularity wave or on the eve of their new releases. I had met Sridevi during what the Telugu film media described as her ‘low phase’. The reason — rise of Madhuri Dixit as the new heartthrob of Bollywood. The Tezaab heroine was as good a dancer and was slowly replacing Sridevi from her top slot. Was that the reason Sridevi decided to reconnect with the south industry? Ramgopal Varma announced Govinda Govinda with Sridevi and Nagarjuna and there surely was excitement among her Telugu fans who were waiting to see her on south screen again.

It was in the mid-90s, when she was shooting for this film in Hyderabad, a confirmation came through to meet her on the set. Ram Gopal Varma, who normally does not allow reporters on sets, had obliged.

When we landed there, the popular Indira mandira sundara kaara song was being picturised. We stopped in our tracks and so did the entire unit when the action started. It was magic in motion. A group of dancers and Nagarjuna were matching steps with her and Sridevi was flawless. The director okayed it, but she requested another take. Only when she was satisfied, she took a break and joined us for a chat wearing a shrug that seemed more like entering a cocoon. One wondered at the swift change in her. Was she the same livewire in front of the camera a few minutes back?

I started my conversation trying to recall all the dos and dont’s the senior colleagues had advised me to follow. But then she surprised me by saying, “Number one position will never belong to one person; we lose focus on good roles and good movies if we hanker to be on top always.”

I dared to ask her about she not being friendly with her co-actors and her reply to that was again a surprise; “I’m not cold, I’m shy,” she said with honesty.

Thereafter she went on to speak about her roles and said she was not looking for ‘any particular kind of roles’, but would rather focus on ‘doing whatever role given to her well’. At one point she noticed the photographer struggling to click both of us in one frame and she immediately moved her chair closer to mine! The gesture had won over the hearts, all over again!


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 9:34:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sridevi-the-diva-always/article22857206.ece

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