Karan Johar Says He Regrets Not Listening to Sridevi's 'Brilliant' Inputs for Kalank
At the launch of Sridevi - The Eternal Screen Goddess, a book based on the life of the late Bollywood icon, Karan Johar recounted narrating the script of Kalank to her and regretting not paying heed to her inputs.
In Kalank, the role of Bahaar Begum was originally offered to Sridevi, but it eventually went to Madhuri Dixit after the former's sudden demise in February last year.
At the launch of Sridevi - The Eternal Screen Goddess, a book based on the life of the late Bollywood icon, Karan Johar recounted narrating the script to her and regretting not paying heed to her inputs.
The director-producer, who revealed some interesting unheard stories about the legendary actress, also said that he felt that Sridevi had never gotten enough credit for being a highly creative person.
"I remember very clearly Yash Chopra telling me about how she heard the narration of Chandni. She had just two things to say and the two things she said were the two changes that they made in the narrative. It's not that she was just doing the film because it was a major set-up or it was around her, she had a legit input. I can say it from my own experience because when I narrated a film to her, which she meant to do before she passed away, she had read the script; made her notes; told me a few brilliant things that I wish we had all listened to. She had said some really wonderful and intuitive things. It was my big dream to work with her. But unfortunately, she passed away in February and the film was going on floors in April," Karan said.
"She always had that sense and that's why some of her movies were always ahead of their time. She also wasn't deluded at all. She always knew where she was not good in a movie and that she hadn't given her 100 per cent. Once she told me, 'This is a dishonest performance.' I think it takes a lot for you to have that sense of self. I think she wasn't given credit for a lot of things that actually she was. She was known more as elusive, exclusive, major motion movie star, but there was a ticking brain there that I don't think she got enough credit for," he added.
Karan further said one of the greatest tools Sridevi had as an actor was her power of observation. He said the actress continued honing her craft even when she was on a decade-long break from the movies.
"She is the best mimic in the world. She could just mimic anybody and anything. She is the only actor from the '80s and '90s who had upped her craft because of observation. When she performed in English Vinglish after a 15-year sabbatical from the movies, her craft was upped. She had actually absorbed the self into the syntax of cinema at the time. She was not stuck in her time. There are many actors who don't seem to get out of that zone they were great in at one point of time. She knew how to face the camera as an actor in 2012," Karan said.
Karan also revealed that Sridevi was a huge fan of Hollywood icon Meryl Streep.
"She had a long chat with me about Meryl Streep once. I remember we were having dinner and I told her what a big Meryl Streep fan I was and she had such a voluminous chat about her with me. I'd never spoken so much to Sridevi in my life. She really loved Meryl Streep. I went back so impressed that she had watched Meryl Streep's films; studied her nuances; understood her motivations; absorb them and even emulated them. I would go as far as saying that Sridevi was a genius artiste. It takes a lot of genius to do what she did in so many different types of films," Karan concluded the session.
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