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No pain no gain: Sridevi

Published Aug 14, 2015, 5:22 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 5:18 am IST
Birthday girl Sridevi, who just turned 52, gets chatty about her filmy career
Birthday girl Sridevi talks about all that’s lined up for the future.
You turned a year older. How do you look back on your years as an actor, wife and mother?
I am always grateful for what I’ve got. God has been kind to me. My fans have been with me all these years. At this juncture in my life I don’t want to let them down. I’ve to be doubly sure that I don’t do any wrong film. 
What does the success of English Vinglish mean to you?
I am sure my children will show it to their children, and proudly tell them that this is what their mother did. English Vinglish has given me so much respect. I am really thankful to the director, Gauri Shinde and her husband R Balki. They blindly believed in me. Now I wonder what I’ll do next.
You can’t do anything run-of-the-mill?
No. There is no need for me to do anything if I don’t think it is right. It took me 15 years to reach a point where I could say ‘yes’ to a project like English Vinglish.
Please don’t take another 15 years to do your next film in Bollywood?
No no no (laughs). But I have to be careful. Not 15 years for sure. I’ve been hearing a lot of scripts. But nothing seems just right. I don’t feel the way I felt for English Vinglish.
Which are your other favourite films from the ones you’ve done?
Sadma, Chandni, Chalbaaz, Judaai.Mr India was a turning point. Before that, Hindi moviegoers saw me just as a glamour girl. After Mr India, they felt I could act. Then there was Lamhe. I miss Mr Yash Chopra.
Did you feel you could have worked with more directors like Yash Chopra and Shekhar Kapoor? I feel you stood out in some very bad films?
That’s a very big compliment. No, I was very happy with the work and the directors I got to work with. But yes, the search for challenging roles never ends. I’d also like to work with Ashutosh Gowariker, Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Raj Kumar Santoshi and Gauri Shinde again and again.
Your elder daughter Jhanvi has turned into a pretty young lady. Is she finally going to take the plunge into acting?
I am tired of being asked this. And to have her hear this repeatedly would make her think, ‘Maybe I have to become an actress.’ (laughs) The truth is, Boney and I haven’t even thought of a career for her. People see her accompanying me to the health club and they presume it’s because she’s getting ready for  films. But the fact is, she is as health-conscious as I am. Please let me inform those concerned about Jhanvi’s visits to the health club that one stays fit not only to face the camera.
True true, so no film career for Jhanvi yet?
I’ve never asked her what she wants to do in life. At the moment I want her to focus on her studies and to enjoy life. It is not a joke to become an actor. It requires great amounts of hard work and patience. I myself missed out on all the normal childhood activities because I started acting when I was a child. I believe there is no gain without pain in life. I do not want my children to miss out anything in life. I want them to go through school and college. Nowadays a career is chalked out for you even while you attend college. If my daughters want to act they can attend acting school. I learnt everything on the job, after I started acting.
You were a very fast learner?
Was I? No one else from my family had ever acted. I don’t know how I do it. All I know is, whatever one does has to come from one’s heart (Aap poore dil se karo). I’ve never planned my scenes. I’ve done whatever came naturally to me.
Boney Kapoor is a very devoted spouse?
I am very lucky to have him. God was very kind to bring him into my life. I don’t know what I’d have done without him. I’d be completely lost. I couldn’t have got anyone better than Boneyji.
I am not too sure of that?
No no. I am absolutely sure he is the best person for me. He understands me, protects me and looks after me. What else does any wife want? I am grateful for the feeling of security he has provided me.