Sridevi passes away: Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan reminisce about the actress, her prodigious talent

Surendhar MK

Feb,25 2018 16:18:26 IST

No other heroine in Indian cinema had the opportunity to share the screen space with two of the biggest legends, Superstar Rajinikanth and Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan in her first outing (Moondru Mudichu). To top that, again star with them in her fourth film (16 Vayathinile) as the female lead. It speaks volumes about the kind of acting powerhouse Sridevi was in regional movies before she ventured into Bollywood, where she reigned supreme and rose as the first 'Lady Superstar' of Indian cinema.

Sridevi and Rajinikanth; Sridevi and Kamal Haasan. Images from Twitter/@TBReporter and @moviemagic_in

Sridevi and Rajinikanth; Sridevi and Kamal Haasan. Images from Twitter/@TBReporter
and @moviemagic_in

Kamal Haasan, who collaborated with Sridevi in nearly 27 films, including iconic projects such as Moondram Pirai (Sadma),Varumaiyin Niram Sivappu, and Vazhve Mayam to name a few, has released a teary-eyed video message about his working experience with the legendary actress.

"Sridevi Kapoor's astounding talent was not luck. It was well deserved and she worked for it from her childhood. I've known her from her teens. She was still a child when she came to work with me and Mr Balachander, my mentor, who sometimes gave me the responsibility of working with her, correcting her acting and shaping even her dance moves. When she came, she was not as talented as she later emerged out to be. But she learned every day. I was astounded by her climb. And every step of it, she worked for," said Haasan.

Kamal Haasan also recalled his memorable last meeting with Sridevi in Mumbai last month when the duo attended an award show event. "She was very fond of me. I'm also very fond of her. Our paths diverged when she became a superstar in Hindi. She has acted in almost all the languages in India and has done 27 films with me. The moments we've had together were all in film shootings. We were working so continuously that our personal lives were on the periphery. The kind of dedication she had truly matched mine. So, it's no wonder that we were fond of each other. I think I saw her last month. We were not prone to showing emotion but somehow we both hugged each other. I'm very grateful for that hug," he said.

On a concluding note, he said, "Sadma's song rings in my ears now. I think that's a great lullaby for this talented, beautiful Sridevi. She had a happy life. My deepest condolence to the family, Mr Boney, and the children. I know they loved her very much and how Sridevi loved her daughters. I used to make fun of it. Some other day, we were in a party. I found one of the daughters and mother cuddling in a corner and showing love to each other. That poor child is gonna miss all that."

After making her lead heroine debut in Rajinikanth-Kamal Haasan's Moondru Mudichu helmed by Balachander, Sridevi went on to act in three consecutive movies starring Rajinikanth which include Gayathri, Kavikuyil and 16 Vayathinile. Moondru Mudichu was also Rajinikanth's second Tamil film. Sridevi was one of the few actresses, alongside Sripriya, who constantly worked with both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in the '70s and '80s.

Addressing the reporters in Chennai, Rajinikanth said, "Today morning only I got to know the news. I'm still not able to believe it's true. I'm yet to come terms with the sudden death of Sridevi ji. It's quite shocking. Boney Kapoor and I went for a dinner in Chennai only three months back. She's a very close friend and our friendship was 40 years long since she acted in my second film. No one can fill the void she has left behind. I express my heartfelt condolences to her family."

Rajinikanth also appreciated the transformation of Sridevi on and off screen. "There are two Sridevis. On screen and off screen. She was always a quiet, childlike person behind the camera. But when the camera starts rolling, she would turn into a fire. Like the passing of electric current. That's how she acts. At the same time, she's never had a fallout with anyone on sets. I was amazed by her effortless approach towards acting in Bollywood without knowing a single word in Hindi then. She was a born actress. Her demise is a huge loss to Indian cinema. She was one of my very few close friends in the industry," he concluded.

Both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan would attend the funeral ceremony in Mumbai to pay their final rights later today.

Published Date: Feb 25, 2018 16:18 PM | Updated Date: Feb 25, 2018 16:18 PM