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Hurt Sridevi denies snubbing Baahubali for money

Baahubali director SS Rajamouli wanted the veteran actress to play Sivagami but said her huge demand forced them to look for alternatives.

Mayur Lookhar

Sridevi seldom speaks to the media, let alone reveal her feelings in public. But in a rare admission, the seasoned actress said she was hurt by reports that she had rejected a role in the Baahubali franchise because she wasn’t happy with the remuneration being offered.

Rumour has it that the actress demanded Rs10 crore for the film. Speaking to a Telugu television channel, Sridevi, however, rubbished these claims and said she was hurt by filmmaker SS Rajamouli’s reported comment on the matter.

"I have avoided talking about it for a long time," she said. "But once and for all I want to clear the air.

"There are rumours that I asked for Rs10 crore for the role, including an entire floor in a hotel, 10 flight tickets, etc. I have been in the industry for about 50 years and acted in more than 300 films. Do you think I could have accomplished all this by making such demands? People in the industry would have sent me packing if I was like that."

The English Vinglish (2012) actress said she never took the matter to heart when the rumours started doing the rounds. "But I saw a Rajamouli interview and I was shocked and hurt," she admitted. "I have heard about Rajamouli, he is a calm and dignified person.”

The actress is said to have snubbed Baahubali for the Tamil film Puli (2015), in which she played a queen. Ramya eventually played the role of Sivagami in Baahubali and her performance was appreciated.

While Baahubali went on to became a blockbuster, Puli did not enjoy much success. Rajamouli reportedly said in an interview that Sridevi rejecting the role was a stroke of luck. It was this statement that hurt Sridevi.

The actress, however, refused to hit back. "I don’t know if the producers wrongly told Rajamouli that I made all these demands, or there was some miscommunication," she said. "I think it is not in good taste to speak on a public platform like this."

Sridevi will be seen next in Ravi Udyawar’s Mom (2017), which is set to be released on 7 July.