Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Meenakshi Sheshadiri talks about Sridevi:
"...I am no competition for Sridevi. It isn't fair to draw comparisons unless you are in the same niche. To draw parallels between Sridevi and me is like comparing Catherine Hepburn with Marilyn Monroe...
Not that this is a perfect example. The trouble with our films is that the heroine is expected to do more or less the same thing in every film. I'm consciously trying to get out of this slot and I detest it when people have preconceived notions about me. Though Sridevi is very versatile and talented, producers select her for a particular type of role only. I feel that Sridevi and I belong to different moulds. My physique is not traditional... nor is my face. I often feel I look like a Russian, whereas I cannot imagine Sridevi looking like a foreigner. Even in the most Western outfits she looks very traditional... very South Indian to be specific.
What Sridevi has and I lack is the initial springboard - a starting school. Don't forget that Sridevi has been acting since the age of five, whereas I have only a few years experience behind me. So that way she is a veteran and I take it as a compliment to be put on the same pedestal as her. Though we are starring in a film together, we have no combination scenes. But we did a dance together in Joshilay and I was surprised at the reactions of the people on the sets - it was like having Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in a climax scene! Actually, that was the first time I became conscious of my status as a star. I felt that if everyone around us was getting jumpy, we must be important.
I discovered that despite her professional image, Sridevi is very human. I find it easier to relate to Sridevi when she is in her make-up room, rather than when she is on the sets. She is more edgy on the sets. Off the sets, she can be quite funny. In fact, she is almost like a child when she bursts into peals of laughter and giggles. She even jokes with Shekhar Kapur, baits him and calls him 'Chandrashekharaa'!
As told to Bhawana Somaaya
From Screen India. From 1987.