‘My priority has always been my family’

Debarati Palit
Tuesday, 4 July 2017

There’s a lot of curiosity surrounding first-time director Ravi Udyawar’s Mom. One, the film brings back Sridevi to the silver screen after five years, and two, it also happens to be her 300th film. No wonder, Sridevi is going all out to promote it. Mom, which has a thriller element surrounding the film, also stars two very talented actors — Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. 

There’s a lot of curiosity surrounding first-time director Ravi Udyawar’s Mom. One, the film brings back Sridevi to the silver screen after five years, and two, it also happens to be her 300th film. No wonder, Sridevi is going all out to promote it. Mom, which has a thriller element surrounding the film, also stars two very talented actors — Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. 

The actress has been touring across India and has also appeared on Zee TV’s top prime-time dramas for the film’s promotion. Looking stunning as ever the shy actress is also making headlines for her style statement at the promotions.

The actress, who ruled the box-office with hits like Mr. India, Chaalbaaz, Lamhe, Chandni, Nagina, Gumrah, Judaai and others, has also gone out and shared her concerns over her eldest daughter Jhanvi joining films.    
Here, Sridevi shares more about Mom, which has been produced by Boney Kapoor, Sunil Manchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja and Gautam Jain, and hits theatres on July 7. Excerpts:  

What attracted you to Mom’s script?
What attracted me the most was the emotional journey of the character. Also, working with such talented actors as Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna kept me on my toes.

Considering its intense subject, were you always confident that first-time director Ravi Udyawar would be able to pull off Mom? 
Working with new people is always good. Ravi is one of the best directors I have worked with. He is so focused. In fact, Ravi has made Mom very special for me.

How much of your sensibilities, as a mother, did you bring to the role?
As a mother it’s unnerving to imagine myself in my character’s situation, so the whole experience was quite emotionally draining. But as an actor, it was a very satisfying experience, and of course being a mother helped me understand the character’s emotions better.

English Vinglish released five years ago. Why did it take you five years to sign your next?
My priority has always been my family as my young daughters were growing up and leaving them for a longer period of time for any shoot would have been difficult. That was the only concern till Mom came my way which fortunately is our home production. The entire shoot was planned keeping my ease in concern where I could spend most of the time with my family during the shoot. R Balki and Gauri Shinde gave me the same comfort during the making of English Vinglish.

You have spent four decades in the film industry as a leading lady. How do you look at your journey?  
Well, all the love, appreciation and respect from my colleagues, directors, co-actors, crew members and, above all, my fans and family has been the biggest support. I have given my best, and worked very hard with all the honesty. I have never analysed what has been achieved.

What are some of the tips that you have shared with your daughter Jhanvi who is about to make her Bollywood debut? 
To give everything to your work, and work as hard as you can. If there’s no pain, there’s no gain. I always say perform from your heart, not just from your brain. It’s very important to be a good and honest human being to be a good actor, and being humble and having gratitude is very important to reach anywhere in life.

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