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Sridevi: I share a special bond with Shruti

Sridevi reveals her fondness for Kamal Haasan's daughter, debunks rumours about her daughters' Bollywood debut and more in a candid chat

It is after almost two decades that Sridevi is making her comeback to Tamil cinema with 'Puli' — well, technically, since her comeback Bollywood film, 'English Vinglish' (2012) had also been released in the language. The actress, who plays an evil queen in the fantasy thriller, reveals that she didn’t think twice before giving her nod to the project.

Sridevi in a still from Puli
Sridevi in a still from Puli

"I instantly said yes because I have not done a costume fantasy film earlier. I felt it is a different genre for me," says Sridevi, who got the opportunity to perform stunts in the film with the assistance of action directors from Russia. "We had to rehearse for the action scenes over five days before doing it in front of the camera. But, due to heavy rains in Chennai, the plan went haywire. The crew had to redo the set and look after technical issues. So, we had to do the stunts without any practice," smiles the 51-year-old actress.

'Puli' trailer: Watch Vijay and Sridevi in good vs evil battle

Of late, South filmmakers have been creating a market for their movies in Bollywood, SS Rajamouli’s Bahubali being the latest. Following this trend, Puli also starring Tamil superstar Vijay, Shruti Haasan and Hansika Motwani, will be dubbed and released in Hindi. Sridevi, however, wants to avoid any comparisons with the R250-crore epic thriller. "It is not fair to compare Puli with Bahubali because it a commercial fantasy film," she retorts.

While Vijay is a big name down South, Sridevi states that she enjoyed working with Shruti and Hansika. "All three of them are as good as experienced actors, focussed and professional. I share a special bond with Shruti. I don’t know why I am so fond of her. She is talented and has good physical features. She is a really sweet girl and it was great working with her," she says. Sridevi worked with Shruti’s father and cinema legend Kamal Haasan in a bunch of South Indian films and a couple of Hindi movies, including the much-appreciated Sadma (1983).

How involved was she in the process of fleshing out her role and developing her look in Puli? "The creative decisions are taken by the director. I have only given inputs and suggestions regarding my look. It turned out to be an interesting character and we approached Manish (Malhotra) because I thought he will do justice to it (the look)," she states, adding that advanced cinematic technology has made life easy now. She says: "Earlier, there were no monitors and no vanity vans. Now it is much more organised."

Also read: Sridevi's daughters seem Bollywood-ready

As a parting shot, she puts to rest speculations about her daughters Jhanvi and Khushi venturing into Bollywood sooner rather than later. "My younger daughter is just 15. She has to finish her education and cannot act now. The older one has just completed her graduation and will be pursuing further studies abroad. I don’t believe in planning. Let her (Jhanvi) concentrate on studies now and decide about her career later," she signs off.

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