The 1980s release Himmatwala, which gifted an overnight popularity to the new-star of Bollywood, Sridevi, was considered otherwise by the actor herself. According to a new book, the actor thought of the film as a “bad luck” for her.
The book titled “Sridevi: Queen of Hearts” suggests that she was not entirely happy that her first big hit in Hindi cinema was Himmatwala (1983), according to an interview in the 1980s.
"In Tamil films, they love to see me act naturally. But in Hindi films, they want a lot of glamour, richness and masala. My bad luck was that my first big hit in Hindi films turned out to be a commercial one ('Himmatwala'). When I did a character role in 'Sadma', the picture flopped. So people started casting me only for glamour roles. But one day I'm going to prove to everyone that I can act also," said the actor, as quoted in the book.
As described by journalist-author Lalita Iyer, Sridevi soon with her widely-acclaimed cult classic “Mr India” (1987) proved her versatility as a “pan-Indian” actor.
"'Mr India' was the year's best film and a riot at box office; it had something for everyone, and was one of her most lovable performances. Sridevi had finally proved to Hindi cinema that she was more than just a box office draw," Iyer writes in the book.
Though the book, which in Iyer's own admission is not a tell-all tale but a tribute to the actor, does mention her struggle, be it "body shaming" or "being ridiculed" during the dubbing of the film, as she was not fluent in most of the languages.
"All through the 1980s, when her career was an all-time high, she was a fortress that journalists could not breach. She spoke very little and mostly answered in mono-syllables. The media was not very kind to her. They called her 'thunder thighs' and ask Mummy' because most of her answers were either ask Mummy or yes or no," reads the book.
Published by Westland and priced at Rs 399, Sridevi: Queen Of Hearts foreword is written by Adil Hussain, who played the actor's husband in the 2012's superhit family comedy-drama English Vinglish.