After a 15-year hiatus Sridevi is all set to light up the silver screen again with English Vinglish. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the actor in Mumbai
What made you sign English Vinglish?
I just fell in love with the script. Then I met Gauri (Shinde, director) and things just clicked. Now if you ask me, I would have done this movie at any given time. It has a very sensitive and simple story.
Were you nervous while facing the camera after 15 years?
Not at all, I was and am very confident. Besides, Gauri and Balki (producer) made me so comfortable that I didn't feel there was a gap of so many years in-between. But then, I also felt like a newcomer, as if it was my first film, given that I was so excited to face the camera again.
How was it working with Gauri (wife of Cheeni Kum and Paa director R Balki)?
This was the first time I am working with a female director. I have got so used to Gauri that I don't know how I will work with other directors now. She is such a good human being and an equally good director. It was wonderful working with her and I am so lucky to have her to direct me in my comeback film.
The trailer of the film has already been well-received.
It's very heartening that people are liking the trailer a lot. This film is very close to my heart not just because it is my first film after many years, but as I said, it is a film where you can feel for the characters.
The film deals with insecurity that Indians face while speaking English. Could you relate to your character in the film?
There were a few scenes where I felt even the audience would be able to relate. It happens to me most of the times.
Amitabh Bachchan has done a cameo in the film. How was it working with him again after Khuda Gawah (1992)?
It has always been wonderful working with him. He is a great actor and I am happy to get an opportunity to work with him again.
What has your husband Boney Kapoor (producer) to say about your comeback film?
Boneyji is so excited about my comeback and English Vinglish that looking at his face I get excited too.
What was the one thing you learnt while shooting for English Vinglish?
The film shows me as an expert at making laddu. And I have learnt to make laddus so well that now on I will only make that particular sweet.
Comeback films have not really worked for actors like Madhuri Dixit (Aaja Nachle, 2007) and Karisma Kapoor (Dangerous Ishq, 2012). Are there insecurities?
I am not at all insecure.
Out of all your films, can you pick one as your favourite?
It is very difficult to do so. Every film has been special for me. But then I really enjoyed doing Mr India (1987) where there was a scene where I had to dress up and perform like Charlie Chaplin. Also, I met Boneyji during the making of the film. Another film that I loved was Lamhe (1991) ... it was a beautiful movie with a bold climax, way ahead of its time.
Will you continue working in films after English Vinglish?
That depends on how all of you will react to this film ... if you accept me in this film and want to see me more, of course I will love to do more films in future.
Do you think Bollywood is opening up for actresses?
Yes. Actresses today are getting opportunities to work again (as leads) even after marriage and having children and also beyond a particular age.
Do you want your daughters Jhanvi and Khushi to become actors like you?
At present, I want them to concentrate only on their studies and they are really doing very well academically.