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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sharmila Tagore: Why fewer scripts for senior female actors

Thursday, 12 October 2017 13:50
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Veteran Bollywood actress and former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) head Sharmila Tagore feels there are very few scripts written keeping in mind “elderly” heroines, while the same is not true for their male counterparts.

“So many scripts are written for elderly male actors; these things are not happening for female actors. The girls have to be very young and the man can carry on forever,” Sharmila, 72, told IANS in telephonic interview from Mumbai.

“One has to accept that life doesn’t stop there (at a young age). In my time, life stopped at 30 or 40, but it doesn’t have to because life carries on and there are a lot of interesting phases in life which they (the audience) might like,” added the actress, who had made her acting debut at the age of 13 with Satyajit Ray’s “Apur Sansar” (World of Apu), the last in the celebrated Apu trilogy.

She went on to receive many awards, including multiple National Awards, for her strong portrayals in films like Mausam and Abar Aranye. Her other powerful roles include Nirjan Saikate, Anupama, Kashmir Ki Kali, An Evening In Paris and Aradhana. She is also the recipient of the Padma Bhushan.

Sharmila still faces the camera once in a while, and she has observed changes in the industry.

“When we were working, acting was not considered a very good profession…. now that has changed. From then to now, films have become a very coveted profession and the roles of women are getting stronger. Films like Piku and Neerja being made and doing well proves that,” she said.

She also feels that while the multiplex culture has helped filmmaking evolve, it has taken away the charm of the big screen phenomenon.

“In our time, when two or three big films were ready — for example, films of Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor — then smaller films had to wait for their release. But now, films like ‘Newton’ get released, a Masaan gets released and get a good niche audience.

“The screen phenomenon that we had, that was really wonderful to see… watching films with mixed crowds. Multiplexes don’t get that because you have a very niche, elite crowd; nevertheless it has helped filmmaking,” she added.


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