As late actress, Sridevi’s film English Vinglish complete 10 years, director Gauri Shinde walks down the memory lane to recall how tough it was to make the film, given the kind of demands its initial producers were putting in front of her. She also revealed how her production house with husband-filmmaker, R Balki took birth at that time.
Shinde, who made her directorial debut with Sridevi starrer movie, shared how the production house which was supposed to back English Vinglish earlier did not want it the way she imagined it to be. “My decision to make my film with a female lead was met with a lot of resistance, no doubt, It was the toughest thing to get this film made. It was about a middle aged woman wearing a saree. These were odds nobody would want to dive into. There was no violence, no sex, nothing that would set the ball rolling easily for someone. We went through hell. Producers wanted a superstar as her husband, then said we should not shoot in New York. They wanted me to compromise, and then they wanted Sridevi to dance because she is Sridevi. They thought she should do an item song. I said I would rather put the film aside and not make it. Then Balki decided to produce it ourselves, and that’s how our production house was formed.”
The Dear Zindagi maker also opened up on how Sridevi came on board for her maiden film. “She was intrigued by the one-liner Balki had given her. She was very smart, she knew instinctively, so it wasn’t hard to get her on-board. She wanted a narration, I was like Oh My God how did this happen. Then I went to her house, narrated it. It was our first blind date, we had never met each before. But you get a sense of someone’s energy. Both of us connected, and at the end of it, she said ‘Gauri, I don’t know about you, but I am doing this film’. That remains one of my best memories,” stated 48-years old.
English Vinglish is based on Gauri Shinde’s mother. She would often tell her kids that if she knew how to speak proper English, her business for spices would have been bigger. The film became a huge inspiration for women who were not fluent with English.