Monday, 20 August 2012

English Vinglish: An experience to remember

Director Gauri Shinde and actor Sridevi, who makes a comeback after 15 years, talk about their upcoming flick English Vinglish. Harshikaa Udasi writes

Director Gauri Shinde says Sridevi was not her choice for her debut film English Vinglish, releasing October 5. “I was not thinking of Sridevi when I wrote it; she was off my radar as she was not around for 15 years. Just as I was contemplating the cast, Balki (Gauri’s husband R. Balki, also the producer of the film) met Boney (Kapoor) and Sridevi over tea to discuss something else and mentioned my script in passing. It was she who got interested and asked if I would come over for a narration. Obviously, I was floored by the thought. We bonded over our very first meeting,” says the 30-something ad-filmmaker who is making her debut with English Vinglish, a film that speaks about a U.S.-based middle-aged woman’s anguish over not knowing English and her hilarious yet triumphant attempt at mastering it and establishing her own identity.

Sridevi, who makes a comeback into the arc lights after 15 years, says she feels like a newcomer. “I fell in love with this script, hence I said yes to it instantly. The narration was so sensitive and detailed. Gauri knew how her character was and how she would want it to come across on the screen. She and Balki were my pillars of support and reference points! But I felt like a newcomer all over again as things have changed considerably in the last 15 years,” smiles the once-reigning Queen of Bollywood.

Gauri’s mom, her inspiration

Gauri says her mom was her inspiration to write this script. “As children, we often laughed at our mom as she didn’t know English or couldn’t pronounce the words right. But later we realised our mistake. My character brings out the simplicity of people like her and the insecurity they face,” she says.

Sridevi is working with a female director for the first time ever in her three-decade long career and has immensely enjoyed the experience. “I am a director’s actor. But working with Gauri has been by far my best experience. She had not just detailed how Shashi (Sri’s character in the film) would react to a certain situation, but also what colour nail polish she would wear. I don’t know how I will ever work with a man again,” she says, giggling away belying her 49 years.

The lady says she has never really missed being part of the industry. “I think as a producer’s wife, I never got an opportunity to miss the industry. I wanted to raise my children by myself. I enjoyed being at home with them. But as for working more often in films, I have to await the audiences’ verdict!”

The movie will also be dubbed into Tamil and Telugu; while Amitabh Bachchan will be seen in a cameo in the Hindi film, Ajith is slated to essay the same role in Tamil and Telugu.

From The Hindu

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