Actor Sridevi, who rejected the role of Sivagami in the Baahubali series, has opened up about the controversy sparked by director Rajamouli.
Speaking to a television channel, the veteran actor said that she was hurt by Rajamouli's comments that she'd made outrageous demands to act in the film. Sridevi was responding to Rajamouli’s statement in an interview in which he said, "It was our good luck that she turned down the film."
In that interview, Rajamouli began by saying that although Ramya Krishnan was his first choice, the team had also considered Sridevi because she'd appeal to a wider audience. However, he said that she'd demanded "crores of rupees" and that they couldn't increase the budget to accommodate her fee.
With some egging from the interviewer, Rajamouli went on to say, "Booking 5 business class tickets for every trip, booking five suites in a luxury hotel...all this was not possible for us."
Ever since Baahubali: The Conclusion became a massive hit, Sridevi has been asked about why she rejected the franchise. Until recently, Sridevi had maintained a dignified silence over the issue. After listening to Rajamouli's comments, however, an upset Sridevi has declared that she was disappointed to hear the director saying such things.
"There have been many films that I've rejected which have gone on to become big hits. I've only thought that it wasn't my destiny to star in those," the actor said. Noting that she didn't understand why the issue was being blown up, Sridevi said that she had ignored all the noise around it till someone sent her Rajamouli's interview. Expressing surprise at what the director said, Sridevi denied that she'd ever made such demands.
"I've acted in hundreds of films. If I'd made such demands, do you think anyone would have repeated me in their films? My career would have been finished a long time ago," she said. She further added that she was married to a producer, Boney Kapoor, and that she understood the difficulties of film production.
Though visibly upset, Sridevi said that perhaps somebody had miscommunicated what she'd said to Rajamouli. "I loved watching Eega," the actor said, confessing that she was a fan of the director's work.
Rajamouli is yet to respond to Sridevi's comments.