Veteran actress Sridevi, who started her film career as a child artist at the age of four, says she does not want her daughter Jhanvi into movies at this age.
“It is too early for her to come in films. At various events she comes with me as a daughter, as a friend, as I like to take her along. It does not mean all this (movie debut),” Sridevi, who is making her comeback with English Vinglish after fifteen years, told PTI.
Rumour mills were abuzz that Sridevi’s elder daughter Jhanvi (around 15 years old) would debut in a Karan Johar film and would also be seen in a Telugu flick, which will be a sequel to Sridevi and Chiranjeevi starrer Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari. It was later dubbed in Hindi as Aadmi Aur Apsara.
“It is not that I am trying to push her or she wants to be in limelight. It is unfortunate that people sometimes misunderstand,” the actress said.
Sridevi started her career as a child actor at the age of four with the 1967 Tamil movie Kandan Karunai and later acted in many Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies. In 1975, she debuted in Hindi cinema with a child role in Julie.
“She (Jhanvi) is studying right now, she is doing well. I don’t want to distract her. I would be definitely the last person to want her to get in the industry at this age,” she said.
Sridevi established herself as the top actress of the south Indian industry with films like Meendum Kokila, Moondram Pirai, Kshana Kshanam and others and gave power packed performances in Hindi films including Sadma, Nagina, Mr India, Chandni, ChaalBaaz, Lamhe, Khuda Gawah and Judaai.
“I am very happy that whatever name and fame I have got is due to this industry. I am grateful to the people of the industry and my fans for that. I started working at the age of four, that was a different thing. But now let her (Jhanvi) study properly, she is in class tenth,” Sridevi said.
The 49-year-old actress, who ruled the silver screen during the late 1980s and early 1990s, will be seen playing the central role of a conservative Indian housewife ‘Shashi’, who rediscovers her self-esteem by sneaking into English classes during a visit to New York for a family wedding.
“For Gauri Shinde (director), the character of Shashi was very clear, right from how she would talk, behave, wear and her hair. I am not saying it is a difficult character, she is a simple middle class housewife. The more she looks simple the more people will like her,” Sridevi said.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be seen in a cameo appearance in English Vinglish. It is almost after a gap of 19 years that Sridevi and Big B have teamed up for this film.
They last worked together in Khuda Gawah in 1993.
“It was a great, wonderful experience. Sharing screen space with him is always an honour. When I came to know that he is doing a cameo I was looking forward to it,” she said.
Directed by filmmaker R Balki’s wife Gauri Shinde, the movie had a gala premiere in Toronto international film festival recently where it received a good response. “I am really touched and honoured looking at the reaction of my fans towards this movie. I am thankful to them. As far the reaction at Toronto film festival is concerned, I couldn’t understand what was happening, I was numb. I will cherish that moment all my life,” she said.
Apart from the audience, Sridevi is receiving praise from her family as well. “My husband and children have seen the film and loved it. I am happy and proud to be a part of this film,” she said.
Co-produced by R Balki, the film will release on October 5.
“I am as excited as the people are about this film. I am very happy and looking forward to its release and waiting to see the reaction of the audience, of my fans. I hope I don’t disappoint them,” Sridevi said.