Miss Hawa Hawaii (Mr India), Bijli (Bhagwan Dada) or Anju/Manju (ChaalBaaz) never thought Shashi Godbole (English Vinglish) would find a place in Sridevi’s hit list, but the woman fought all odds to make the comeback of 2012. t2 caught up with Sri before the TV premiere of the Gauri Shinde-directed film on Zee Cinema at 8pm tonight.
Would you agree that the number of interviews you have given for English Vinglish is more than what you have given for all your earlier films put together?
Haan ji, yeh sach hai. Zamana badal gaya. Now the media, the promotions… it’s all totally different. I am a media-shy person. But now I am getting used to this and enjoying it.
What did your daughters (Jahnvi and Khushi) have to say about the film’s success?
They did not have to say anything. I can make out from their expressions how proud they are of their mother. They take interest in what I wear. They love to dress me. They always have to say something: ‘Mama, yeh clutch lo, yeh shoes pahan lo…’ They are always very involved.
Even in the 15 years that you were away from films, how did you keep in such stunning shape? Did you nurture hopes of a comeback?
Nahin, nahin. Comeback ka kuchh theek nahin tha. Being fit and leading a systematic life is something that everyone should do. I am a vegetarian. I do yoga regularly. I never planned anything. English Vinglish just happened. Before the shoot we all went for a long holiday. The kids had holidays. We went to Vegas and had fun… I ate a lot. We came back and the next day I started shooting. Woh role aisa nahin tha. It wasn’t like I had to play a model. It was just a housewife.
Given how your character (Shashi) panicked at the thought of flying to the US alone, what was your experience like when you had to fly to New York for the shoot?
I have never travelled alone. I flew with Boneyji (Kapoor, husband) and my niece. Boneyji stayed a week with me. Then the kids stayed with me for a month. Then their school started, so he went back with them. He came back in between. He made four trips in all during the shooting. When the film wrapped up, we all came back together with the kids. I never got a chance to fly alone. My husband and my children never let me. Sometimes my friends complain: ‘Kabhi toh chhode lunch ya dinner ke liye tera pati!’ Par, theek hai…. (Giggles)
You have a mature hand at painting.
Bachpan se meri painting ka shauk hai aur main karti bhi thi. Even when I was acting full-time, I was painting. When I got busy with the children I gave it up but my husband and my children encouraged me to start again. I like to paint human beings and capture different moods.
Madhuri Dixit recently said you and she would always remain relevant.
I think she meant that talent would never die. Good performance can never go wrong. I would love to work with Madhuriji. She is such a great actress. It would be a treat for the audience to watch us together. Poora ek film karenge toh kitna maza aayega — audience ko bhi, hum ko bhi.