In 2013, a year after she made a spectacular comeback in the film industry with 'English Vinglish', Sridevi was spotted on 'Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi' hosted by actor Prakash Raj. In a rare chatty moment, she recounted her experience on the sets of the film Moondru Mudichu, her first film as a heroine. The 1976 Tamil film was directed by K Balachander and Sridevi revealed that her salary was Rs.5000. And if that doesn't leave you surprised, her co-stars in the film, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth were paid Rs.30,000 and Rs,2,000 respectively.
Sridevi recalls how Kamal Haasan was already an established star then while she and Rajini were relatively new to the industry. "Rajini was very close to my mother. He was like a son. When we were all talking, Rajini would ask how he can become a big star like Kamal. My mother would say, you will definitely become like that. Rajini wanted to earn Rs.30,000," she laughs.
The actor spoke about how nervous she was during the iconic picnic scene where Kamal falls into a lake and Rajini refuses to help him. "Instead of saying 'Poitare Poitare', I started yelling 'Pootare Pootare' (a colloquial usage). Kamal sir was holding on to the boat and laughing so much at this that the boat was shaking. And then the Director Balachander was yelling and asking why the boat was shaking," she recalls good humoredly.
When probed further about acting with Rajinikanth, Sridevi pours praises on her colleague. "He is very humble, very good at heart. He always wants to help others. He doesn't like it when someone is facing some difficulty. He wants everyone to be happy. He is a good man and very talented," she said. "During the shoots, he will keep disappearing. And when we are looking for him, Balachander will say - 'Go find a mirror, he will be there'," she added.
Actress Sridevi about Superstar Rajinikanth from Raj Ajay on Vimeo. In a testament to their decades long friendship, Rajinikanth too made an emotional statement on Sunday following the news of Sridevi's death. "In front of camera and behind the camera, there are two Sridevis. Behind the camera she is very unassuming. She will listen to everything. In front of the camera she's like fire, an electric power would pass. That's how she would act. At the same time, she has never gotten angry on anyone. When she went to Hindi film industry, she didn't know a word of Hindi. She surprised everyone with the ease and effortlessness with which she performed there. She's a born actor. This is a big, big, big loss to Indian film industry. I have very few close friends. Among them, Sridevi was one. I have lost her. My heart is very heavy," said the superstar outside his Poes Garden residence.