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Hansal Mehta: I will always regret not approaching Sridevi

Hansal Mehta will live with a regret of not approaching late Bollywood actress Sridevi for a film he had in his mind. But the filmmaker is determined to make a movie on her, and says he might approach actress Vidya Balan for the project.

The news of Sridevi's sudden demise last month left everyone shocked. Mehta took to Twitter to share his grief, with the post: "There will never be another Sridevi. I was about to approach her for a film. That film will now be dedicated to her. If it finds an actor."

Prodded about the project, Mehta told IANS: "I will always regret that I didn't approach her and could not make a movie with her. But I will make a film on her."

From her surreal beauty to her charming smile to her perfect dance moves, Sridevi — who began acting as a profession at the age of four — was known for her ability to slip into myriad roles.

Be it her double role in CHAALBAAZ, as a woman with retrograde amnesia in SADMA, a shape-shifting woman in NAGINA, a crime journalist in MR. INDIA, a mother who wants acceptance from her daughter in ENGLISH VINGLISH, or the revengeful mother in "Mom" — Sridevi got into any character with much ease.

Mehta got a little introspective as he got talking about the project, divulging that the film may just be based on a book. But he refused to give out any more information.

"It will be made," he assured, adding: "There are actors (who I have in my mind). I might approach Vidya Balan. I will make the film," he reiterated emphatically.

At the moment, Mehta is looking forward to OMERTA — his next project with actor Rajkummar Rao. Through the film, he traces the life of British-Pakistani terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh.

The film is shot in real locations across London and India while recreating Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Known for intense dramas like SHAHID and ALIGARH, Mehta said: "We make the films because we want to challenge ourselves. We choose stories which are challenging… That is the joy of making the film."

With OMERTA, he wants to provoke a thought.

"My intention is not to disturb people… my intention is to provoke a thought. My intention is to let you have your own emotions, your questions after watching the film.

"This film has a variety of meanings for different people. For some, it is a thriller, for some it can be very cool. At a festival, women were swooning over Raj. They loved his evil act. They thought it was cool.

"In Toronto, there were angry people, people were numb, people who were very upset. All these reactions are a result of the film depicting a certain truth," Mehta said.

Presented by Swiss Entertainment and Karma Media, and produced by Nahid Khan, the film is releasing on April 20.

As it nears its release date, Mehta is anxious about how the Indian audience will react to the film.

"I am actually very anxious. I want the people to watch the film. It is an important film. It is a complete anti-hero film. There is an antagonist who is unapologetic and unsympathetic. He is your principal character and to have that kind of principal character as your main lead and make a thriller…I am interested to see how the audience will respond to this anti-hero," he said.

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