Just three days left for your film's release. How nervous are you? Sridevi: I'm not nervous at all. I am actually more than excited. It's a very different feeling. I'm seeing audiences' reactions, the questions they are asking about the film... it's overwhelming. That has boosted my confidence.
For a comeback, choosing a heroine- oriented film is quite a risk that you've taken...
I never felt it was a risk. I never thought on those lines. I fell in love with the script and the character. When I met Gauri Shinde, we instantly clicked. And, of course, I loved Balki's previous films and was very happy to be associated with him. As a mother, as a woman, I could relate to the character and felt it was a universal story.
How similar are you to this character?
Just like the character, even my daughters pull my leg. Of course, not as much as in the film. My kids do it very cutely.
Between your girls, who is more excited about your film?
Both, in different ways. Khushi is very protective and she will go out of her way to show it. The elder one, Janu, is 15 now and she is also very affectionate, but shows it differently. Without their support, I would not have done this movie. Even Boneyji...
What is his reaction?
He treats me like a kid, like his wife (smiles)... He is so excited that I have to tell him 'baba calm down'. Whether it's my personal life or professional, he has been a pillar of strength. Without him, I couldn't have imagined doing this film.
Are you looking at doing more films now?
I want to enjoy my work more than doing many films.
You are seen as somebody very shy who gets totally transformed in front of the camera...
If I carry my shyness in front of the camera, people will say bye! I enjoy being in front of the camera, and I believe in becoming the character. More than your mind, it comes from your heart, from your soul.
What's Sridevi like at home?
My husband calls me a joker! I'm joking all the time. Also, I keep tripping. I'm a brat with my kids and make them laugh, where sometimes they literally have to beg me saying, 'chup ho jao mamma please'.
And who's the boss?
I'm the boss at home. Actually, it depends... we balance it out. There are some things he takes a call on, some me. Boneyji listens to me and respects what I have to say. And I listen to him.
Arjun recently made his film debut...
Arjun is hardworking. He is very promising. I'm very happy for him.
Coming back to English Vinglish, do you think we lay too much emphasis on the English language in our society?
Yes, we do. People who speak stylish English are considered to be cool. But our film is not only about English, it's about emotions and what people feel.
After being a top actress for many years, you chose to quit films and become a homemaker. How was the experience?
This was a choice I made. I believe you can get what you want, it's in your hands. This break has given me the joy of motherhood and I have loved every moment of bringing up my children. When I was working, I focused totally on that.
How many interviews have you given in the last few weeks?
English Vinglish, produced by Eros International and R.Balki, releases October 5.