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Gauri Shinde with Sridevi.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter) 

“Films Are Made for Big B, Why Can’t I Make Them for Sridevi?”

From Yash Chopra to Harmesh Malhotra, here’s how Sridevi inspired her directors.

4 min read

Billed as the first female megastar of Bollywood to reckon with, Sridevi straddled many genres - comedy, drama and action. Her career spanned across five different film industries. It was her compelling talent that inspired directors to conjure some of the most groundbreaking and memorable characters for her. Gauri Shinde, director of English Vinglish attributed her self-belief to Sridevi.

The quintessential YRF leading lady, hers was a tough act to follow.

“Sridevi is such a good actress that she merged into the character of my heroine ‘Chandni’. She made the character overpower her star image. That is her biggest asset. Imagine an actress from the south has become a living character in the north! Now you have Chandni sarees, salwar kameez and even chudiyan.”
Yash Chopra

Here’s looking at how her directors were enamoured and inspired by her - a compilation of quotes that illustrate her formidable acting prowess and tell you why she was a muse to many.

“You will always be my first love. I learnt so much from you. You made me believe in myself and you are the reason I made my second. Thank you.”
Gauri Shinde, Director, English Vinglish
“Madhuri is good but Sridevi is better.”
Yash Chopra, Director, Lamhe & Chandni
“Filming ‘Mr. India’ songs and the Charlie Chaplin sequence with Sridevi were one of the most joyful moments of my directing experience. Her intuitive sense of the comic and the sensual are amazing.”
Shekhar Kapur, Director, Mr. India
“People who think there can be another actress who emotes as well as Sridevi, are fools.”
Ram Gopal Varma
“I make films for Sridevi. The co-stars are not important. If people can make films for Amitabh, why I can’t make films for Sri?”
Harmesh Malhotra, Director, Nagina
“All the generations know only one name and that is Sridevi because she has had a long journey from a child artiste to Mom. It’s not a joke. If we want to watch a film, we first see reviews. But we don’t look for reports if the film has Sridevi. The reason is that the movie will have 100 percent of performance and glamour of her and 100 percent guarantee of everyone watching it. I would like to test Sridevi in front of all of you (media). I am the only director who has done 24 films with you (Sridevi). If we do one more film, we can celebrate a silver jubilee.”
K Raghavendra Rao, Director, Himmatwala during the screening of Mom
“When Purnachandra Rao, the producer approached me, I said: Get me Sridevi and I’ll make a film for you.”
Pankaj Parashar, Director, Chaalbaaz
“The Sridevi I’m directing now in Khuda Gawah is a self assured person, concsious of every move that she makes in front of the camera. She’s watching Amitabh step by step. It’s fascinating the way the two keep watching each other perform. I think it’s a tribute to Sridevi that Amitabh should sit and watch her work! For me it’s an unique experience. I don’t think there’s been anyone quite like her in our films. she can do just about anything and brilliantly.”
Mukul Anand, Director, Khuda Gawah
“Putting her in a five star hotel, paying for air fare and other expenses is a package deal when you sign Sridevi. There is nothing surprising about it. Filmmakers know she’s worth every penny they pay her, that is why they sign her.”
Yash Chopra
“Sridevi’s screen personality is sheer magic. You can never really guess what she’s capable of until she switches herself on in front of the camera. You cant compare her with any heroine of the past. She’s one of a kind, yet you see in her almost every great actress of the past. She could easily stand in for any of them.”
Yash Chopra

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