Sridevi — the full story

‘She was very vulnerable’

Adil Hussain.  

My first meeting with Sridevi was when I went for the test rehearsals (for English Vinglish). Having done just three films, I was sort of an infant in terms of skill. We were sitting next to each other, and I told her I had seen Sadma long ago. I still remember that I couldn’t speak for two whole days after the film. She looked at me, her eyes moist.

I realised in that 30-second interaction how vulnerable and defenceless she was, and that she opens up her entire being to you. That's a rare quality in an actor. I think vulnerability is the key to versatility. She allows the audience to sort of come through the window of her soul and enter her personal space. She executes all her emotions in front of the camera with such finesse, it’s kind of an Indianness, not in a nationalist kind of way, but the inherent Eastern aesthetics, and the tenderness and grace we have just by being born n this part of this world. [It’s something] which I rarely see in any actor today.

It was a unique experience to work with her, and her respect for a newcomer like me playing her husband was a gift. I feel it all the more now. I didn’t expect her to leave so suddenly. It's frustrating and I felt angry.

I didn't have a personal relationship with her, but after just a few meetings, I feel I’m going to be deprived of her. Of course, it’s a deeply personal loss for her family, but the impersonal loss is of not being able to see her onscreen, especially the talent other actors rarely have.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 5:35:43 PM |

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