- Smriti Irani last met Sridevi in Goa in November 2017
- Sridevi shouldered "many '90s blockbusters alone," Smriti Irani said
- In the letter, she also wrote how Sridevi defined "joy" in her childhood
Following the sudden death of the actor late at Saturday night in Dubai, Ms Irani wrote an emotional letter remembering her "favourite star who defined joy in my childhood".
"I pay homage to an actor who through her body of work ascertained that a female actress' place in a commercial Hindi movie is not only to compliment her male counterparts," Ms Irani wrote in a letter published by News18.
"My memories of Sridevi are built through my journey from being a fan girl to an actor and then my role as a politician. I have had opportunities to meet Sridevi in public engagements and industry events, and each time I went back knowing a little more about her.
"She was a woman who knew her mind and despite the challenges that came her way, she approached life with a lot of dignity. The actor in me was influenced by her work in movies like 'Chalbaaz', 'Chandni', 'Sadma' and the effortless performance in 'Lamhe'," she said.
The minister described Sridevi as the first female superstar of the Indian film industry, who shouldered many '90s blockbusters alone.
"That her male co-stars had to depend on her magic for their box office success was an ode to her calibre," she added.
Ms Irani praised the actor for her versatility through which she could make the audience sail through a sea of emotions.
"It was not just her dance move that dazzled many, her comic timing is worth a study. The versatility with which she could oscillate between making her audience cry and laugh spoke volumes of her strength as an actor."
Ms Irani last met Sridevi at the International Film Festival of India in Goa in November 2017.