Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; June 26, 2017)

"The audience is too clever, you can’t fool them,” says Sridevi, ahead of the release of her upcoming film, Mom, which marks her 300th movie in the industry, and her first in five years, after her 2012 comeback vehicle, English Vinglish. “We can feel that we’ve created a masterpiece, but, people can come out calling it absolute nonsense,” she says of the thriller, which has been produced by her husband, Boney Kapoor.

Unlike several contemporaries, who’ve failed to make a mark at the box office, or even in cinephiles’ minds, with their comeback films, Sridevi’s return has established her yet again in an ever-evolving showbiz industry. One might assume that the natural next step for an actress of her stature would be to delve into the movie-making business. But Sridevi doesn’t bat an eyelid before confessing, “Direction is not my cup of tea.” She says, “It’s a big job and comes with too much responsibility. Why should I burden myself? Giving suggestions to directors, discussing themes and providing creative inputs are things that actors do anyway. I will never turn producer. Ghar mein ek producer kaafi hai. I will support Boneyji.”

Sridevi’s refusal to turn producer doesn’t mean she’s away from the filmmaking business. She is always involved in her husband’s productions, whether she features in them or not. “I am there for the narration, and script-reading sessions. We have long discussions about the plot and loop holes. Boneyji is someone with a mind of his own. On Mom, we debated a lot. But, we both believe that healthy arguments go a long way in honing the final product. We had our fair share of fights while working together in Mom, but we were on the same page.”

A sequel to her 1987 romance drama, Mr India, is “definitely” in the pipeline, but the actress confesses that she has yet to decide if she will feature in it. “The script is still being developed. Boneyji has a few ideas that are being worked on. Who knows, there could be an announcement around the corner.”