‘HEROINES HAVE TO LOOK PERFECT’
Sridevi says that female actors are under pressure to always look good even if ‘they feel like hell’ inside
Hers has been one of the most enduring careers in Indian cinema, spanning Bollywood and regional film industries. That makes Sridevi (right) — acclaimed actor, glamorous star, box office queen of her heydays, and Padma Shri award winner — the perfect person to say what it means to be a woman in this high-pressure industry.
Since being a star is still a lot about one’s appearance, Sridevi says that it’s not an easy task for female actors to consistently maintain standards of perfection. They’re always under pressure to look good, even when they’re not on camera, she says. That pressure has only been increased by the age of social media.
“If an actor posts a picture of herself, where she looks tired, or [is] just wearing a bun, then people start commenting. They say things like, ‘What is she looking like’, ‘What chappal is she wearing,’” says Sridevi. “Then, as an actor, you feel, ‘Why give a chance to anyone to do that?’ You better look your best, even if you’re going through hell inside,” adds the actor, whose recent release Mom has garnered much appreciation.
As for herself, Sridevi says that she managed to steer her career while keeping the pressures at bay. She enjoyed being a leading lady — “I got to wear different clothes, I got to do the best roles.” And she didn’t let box office numbers kill her sleep. “If the picture does well, I’m surprised and happy; and if it doesn’t do well, then it’s part of your profession. You see what went wrong and try not to do the same mistake,” says Sridevi.
IN HER LONG CAREER, SRIDEVI HAS ACTED IN NOTED FILMS SUCH AS SADMA, MR INDIA, CHANDNI, AND LAMHE