Monday, 24 January 2011

Those Unforgettable Scenes...

Legendary Indian actress Sridevi talks about her favourite scenes with Jitesh Pillai (now editor of Filmfare).

Sadma (1983)
The last scene where Kamal Haasan tries in vain to make me recall the time I spent with him was heart-wrenching. I couldn't show even a glimmer of recognition. My four-year-old-cousin refused to talk to me for days after that. He said that I had behaved like a vamp!

A remake somehow loses the original's spontaneity. The magic of Moondram Pirai was something else.

Mr India (1987)

I'm living as a paying guest at Anil Kapoor's house but I'm exasperated with the brats who keep harassing me. So I let off steam at Anilji. I try to control my temper. Shekhar Kapur always tried to provoke a hundred reactions to a scene. He would tell me to retain the 13th expession and part of the 30th reaction. The final result was fantastic. I discovered quite a few aspects about myself while workng with Shekharji.

Chaalbaaz (1989)
I found that scene where I cover Rohini Hattangadi with make-up and stuff quite funny. Actually I was a bit hesitant to do this because I know that no woman wants to look crazy. But Rohiniji was a sport.

I also liked the scene set in the bar where I con the guy into buying me beer. Actually, on paper there was nohing... I was quite upset, wondering how I'd do it. But Pankuj Parashar was adamant. So we went ahead and shot it. And it turned out quite well.

Chandni (1989)

On seeing Rishi Kapoor after a long time, I react with mixed feelings. In the original scene there was an elaborate romantic shairi but I wasn't convinced. One's normal reaction wouldn't be able to rave and rant. Finally, Yashji told me to go ahead and do exactly what I wanted. So we did an unrehearsed scene, I just let go... blurting out the first thing that came to my mind.

Lamhe (1991)
I liked the scene where I run into Deepak Malhotra's arms. Anilji's expression conveyed so much hurt. Even the scene where I confront Anilji and ask him not to fight his feelings is a personal favourite.

This film was definitely ahead of its times. Perhaps the audience was expecting a conventional ending.

We had a great time for 20 days in London. Then I was called back home... my father had passed away. After the ceremonies were over, I returned to England for the rest of the shooting. The unit was very quiet, they didn't know how to react. And I had to do a comic scene right away. I have bleach all over my face and rag Waheeda Rehman. How did I do it? Don't ask me.

Khuda Gawah (1992)
This is anther film close to my heart. I liked the mother's character. When she is reunited with her husband after many years, her first instinct is to touch her husband... feel him to see if he's for real. The scene was shot from different angles... close, wide and in high speed too.

Gumraah (1993)
I liked the hospital scene where my mother dies. I didn't have to get all worked up as some viewers might have believed. Mahesh Bhatt asked me how I'd react if something like that happened to me in real life. I went completely numb. That would be my reaction in real life to. I don't show my tears... I move away to a corner.

The shot was okayed in one take. My character in Gumraah was that of an insecure girl... she learnt things the hard way. Just before a shot, Mahesh Bhatt uses the right words to describe the character’s state of mind... then you take off from there.

See entire feature and interview here; Encore!

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