It’s better to do few films but different characters: Sridevi
After making the audience wait for 5 long years, Sridevi is back with a gripping tale called Mom. The film, directed by Ravi Udyawar, marks her triple century in the Indian cinema. An illustrious filmography comprising of 300 films truly defines her as a timeless artiste. The legendary actress recently spoke with us about her upcoming film and the experience of working with Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
Mom being your home production, what made you invest your faith in a debutant director like Ravi?
Well, why not? When I did a film with Gauri (Gauri Shinde, Director of English Vinglish) after fifteen years, she was also a new director. But that thing never affected me. Their (debutant directors) approach to movies is very unique. They come up with different stories. So, I’m very lucky that I got to work with Gauri and now, Ravi. He is very passionate about the subject and had a wonderful vision for Mom.
When I hear a subject, it should relate to me, it should touch me
Both English Vinglish & Mom are about women, who undergo metamorphosis when they face challenges. In your opinion, how different are these two films?
In English Vinglish, she is a very vulnerable woman; she is not able to express her feelings. People around took advantage of her and took her for granted. Here, the mother is very strong. And she knows what she wants and she can go to any extent for her children and their happiness. I think that is something different between both the characters.
You’ve always worked towards presenting good content be it Sadma, Gumrah or Lamhe; a film which was much ahead of its times. How important do you think is it for actors to step of their comfort zones?
I enjoy doing this. An actor has to take a chance or be challenged to do different characters. That’s why some actors do few films. How many characters can you create? So, it’s better to do few films but special characters…different characters.
The role didn’t allow me to be normal
Being a mom, did it get emotionally challenging for you to switch off the emotions while you were off the sets?
I wanted to be in a different frame of mood during the shooting. It was not a conscious decision that I didn’t want to talk but, it (the role) didn’t permit me; it didn’t allow me to be normal. So, I was in a shell, I was not communicating with my family as much as I normally do. After everything (shooting schedule) was done, my daughter told me, ‘Thank God, you’re normal now’. So, I was subconsciously in that zone.
How much has your approach to preparing for a role changed over the years, what’s the process now?
I go by my instincts. When I hear a subject, it should relate to me, it should touch me. Apart from that, how big of a commercial hit a film is going to be is a producer’s prerogative.
An actor has to take a chance or be challenged to do different characters
Lastly, you share screen space with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Mom. How would you describe your experience?
I have watched all his movies. I’ve enjoyed his work, his performances; he is very talented. And, I feel that he is the best thing to have happened to this industry. Very few actors can play any character. He can play a villain, where you get really unnerved, you don’t get sleep (sic) and at the same time, he can be a vulnerable character. He is a very versatile actor.