Sridevi — the full story

Trivia Talk: The Sridevi you may not have known

Actor Sridevi during an interview with The Hindu in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

As someone who began her acting career at the age of five, there is not much that has not been written about the iconic actor Sridevi who passed away on Saturday in Dubai. Here are a couple of lesser known facts about the star whose incredible work ethic and love for the craft inspired millions.

The double role queen

Sridevi has done the maximum number of double roles for a Bollywood heroine — seven of them. We got two of her in Guru, Naaka-Bandi, Chaalbaaz, Banjaran, Khuda Gawah, Lamhe, Gurudev and a few other shelved projects.

The filmy genes

Apparently her mother Rajeshwari had done a special un-credited cameo in S.S. Vasan's Telugu hit Shanti Niwaasam, which was later remade as Gharana in Hindi

The lucky break

When Balu Mahendru decided to make Moondram Pirai in Hindi as Sadma, Sridevi was not his original choice. He had approached Dimple Kapadia who turned it down for her high profile comeback project, Saagar. She had given her commitment and dates to Ramesh Sippy.

First time in Bollywood

Although Julie is widely regarded as her Hindi debut, it was the Ashok Kumar & Vijaylalitha starred Raani Mera Naam (1972), where she made her first kiddie appearance It was a remake of Telegu film Rowdy Rani and the Hindi version is only remembered for music by RD Burman.

The original Jumma-Chumma girl

Ramesh Sippy announced a big project with Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi in mid 80s, with both in double roles, and launched the film at a big event held in Mumbai. Laxmikant Pyarelal composed a special song — Jumma Chumma De De for the film launch. Unfortunately it got shelved. Later when Romesh Sharma was making Hum, he requested Sippy for the song and Sippy obliged.

The odd super-star couple

The two of the superstars of the 80s, Sridevi & Amitabh Bachchan were rarely seen together; they worked together in just three films Inquilaab, Akhiri Rasta & Khuda Gawaah. Decades later when Sridevi was making a comeback in 2014 with English Vinglish, Amitabh made a special cameo appearance. Although Amitabh is 21 years older than Sridevi, they both started their career around the same time in late 60s.

The voices of Sridevi

Sridevi was born to a Tamil father and a Telugu mother so she never faced any problems speaking the two languages. At the start of her career in Hindi films her parts used to get dubbed prominent actresses. Noted child actress of past Naaz dubbed for her, Rekha dubbed for her in Akhiri Rasta and Revathy dubbed some of her Malayalam films. It was in Yash Chopra's Chandni that she actually got her original voice in Hindi films for the first time.

Professionalism begets professionalism

While shooting for Lamhe in London, Sridevi got the news of her father's demise. She took a break of 16 days for performing all the rituals and was back in London on the seventeenth day. The entire unit waited for her in London during the period.

An interesting twist to doubles

Guru (1989) was a remake of Tamil blockbuster Kakki Sattai. While the original had Kamal Hassan in the lead with two different heroines, writer Ram Kelkar turned the two into twin roles for Sridevi to cash in on her star appeal. A few years later Abbas Mastaan was planning Baazigar with Sridevi playing the double role of the two sisters. However, when she declined the role they turned to two different actresses playing the two characters — Kajol and Shilpa Shetty.

The films that didn’t happen

Sridevi was offered Rangeela, Baaghbaan, Baazigar & Mohabbatein in the first place but refused the roles. On the other hand when a much junior actress Divya Bharti passed away, Sridevi stepped in her shoes to complete Laadla.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 9:56:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/trivia-talk-the-sridevi-you-may-not-have-known/article22851856.ece

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