From her crush on Sylvester Stallone to actresses who make her feel small, SRIDEVI revealed it all to MONI, in Cine Blitz, August 1985. The story was originally published in Free Press Journal on August 16, 2015
The No.1 tag embarrasses her. “Achieving this position is not difficult. I was a superstar after just one hit, HIMMATWALA. It’s maintaining this position that keeps me tense all the time.” But wealth and fame are not the ultimate goals in life. “It’s the simple things of life that give me joy. I long for…the warmth and tenderness of my husband’s arms…the bliss of motherhood.” With all her defences down, the normally shy and introverted Sridevi reveals all about her dreams, her hopes and herself…
I was a very shy and lonely child. There were just the two of us. My sister, Latha, and I. Even though my parents were devoted to me, I was lonely. I hated crowds and people. The minute I saw more than three or four people in a room I’d run and hide behind my mother’s pallav. I was extremely attached to her. I still am.
I am a hypersensitive and emotional person. My family tells me that I should toughen up and try not to get hurt so easily. I’m a total introvert. If I get hurt, I can’t even confide in my sister. I just suffer silently. This affects me physically. I toss and turn the whole night and the next day my face is all red and swollen.
I dream a lot, every night in fact. Most of the time I dream of horrible things like ghosts, phantoms and snakes. People tell me that dreaming of snakes means that you have a lot of enemies. My favourite dream is one in which I see a very handsome man dressed in white who comes towards me and kisses me gently. And when we kiss a transformation takes place, and we are in bridal clothes. God, he’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen!
I remember my first role as a heroine. I was only 11, but physically very mature which made me look much older. So I could play both a child artiste and a heroine simultaneously. It’s very strange, but my shyness and loneliness completely disappeared before the camera. I actually come alive.
South Indian girls are trained in classical dancing right from childhood, so I can’t imagine life without it. I hate disco dancing and wearing those outlandish clothes and wriggling on screen. I do it only because it’s my profession. I have never been to a disco in my life. But I’m sure I’ll hate it anyway, because basically I hate crowds. My mother is conservative and dislikes me going to discos and parties. She doesn’t like me going anywhere.
I love eating. It’s one of the greatest joys. I have at least six meals a day as I get hungry every two hours. I eat a heavy breakfast before I leave the Sea Rock, but by the time I reach the studio, I have another breakfast. I love Chinese food, especially the chicken and lobster dishes. I also love all kinds of sweets, ice-creams and pastries. But no meal is complete without my curd and rice. Even after a Chinese meal I must have a little of that.
Although I am 5’ 7” I still love wearing high heels. Good height gives a woman a lot of dignity. But sometimes I can’t wear heels because my heroes are not tall enough, like Kaka. Do you know in one of the KARMA sequences I look taller than Jackie? He was barefoot and I had worn high heels. I don’t know what’s in fashion and what’s not. My sister even shops for my shoes.
My sister and mother keep all kinds of colourful, fancy bottles on their dressing tables. I don’t even know the names. I have simple South Indian tastes. I don’t even use soap while bathing. I use a south Indian preparation, something like the local ‘besan’. I love using talcum powder though, after my bath. I use only Mysore Sandalwood.
I am crazy about Sylvester Stallone. I have seen all three parts of ROCKYinnumerable times. He is the sexiest man I have ever come across. And one of the finest actors. His voice gives me goose flesh. God, even when I talk about him, I can feel something happening to me. My body tingles all over. Whenever I feel depressed I have to only see his film on video and I feel good again. I have never been attracted to any man like this. He is my ideal man. I think the man I see in my dream is Sylvester. I’d love to meet him and work with him one day. Yes, if he proposes to me I will marry him without a second thought.
I find that the industry women are very hypocritical towards me. Because I don’t know English and Hindi very well, they always try to show that they are one up on me. Rekha is the only one who is different. She’s a very warm, caring and sensitive person. And she’s my only friend and critic.