Zeenat Aman believes there are very few “age-appropriate” roles written for women in Hindi cinema and that’s one of the main reasons why she chooses to do less work.
Zeenat will return to theatre after a gap of 15 years with Dearest Bapu, Love Kasturba, in which she plays the role of Kasturba. The play, starring Arif Zakaria, will premiere on February 21 at the NCPA as part of The Great Indian Theatre Festival, brought by BookMyShow. It is directed by Saif Hayder Hasan.
“Earlier, there was a lot going on in my life and profession was put aside. I think in Hindi cinema age appropriate roles are few and far in between. That was basically the reason (for my absence). I take it as it comes in terms of work. Right now, I have this play, I have not signed anything, I believe in here and now, we will see what tomorrow brings,” Zeenat told PTI in an interview here.
She believes it’s the commercial aspect that prevents filmmakers from making many women-led films.
“The dynamic that runs the well oiled engine is economics and very few stories are written (for female actors) because people are uncertain whether that many people will go and see the film and will the numbers work out for them? If anything in this space will succeed then there will be many more scripts and stories being written. It is all about economics,” Zeenat added.
Back in the 70s and 80s, the actor who redefined modern day woman in Hindi cinema, said she is happy with the roles she has played in her career.
“Whenever I was offered a role I would do it, if I loved it. Like when I was offered the part of Janice in Hare Rama Hare Krishna’. I did it and people thought it was authentic and they wanted to see me more on screen. Subsequently a lot of filmmakers wrote roles for me Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Heera Panna and many more.
“And also I had great music and songs so that helped. Nothing was planned or premeditated. It unfolded the way it did.”
The actor, best known for films such as Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Qurbaani, Dhund, Manoranjan, Yaadon Ki Baarat, said she was fortunate to work with some of the best directors.
“It has been an iconic journey. I was a teenager when I started. There were many milestones… I was fortunate enough to have worked with some really wonderful directors.
The actor was last seen on the big screen in a cameo appearance in Panipat, that featured Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Kriti Sanon in the lead.
“I was delighted when Ashutosh Gowariker offered me a cameo Panipat, we had worked together in a film as an actor called Gawahi. I was happy to do it. Ashutosh is such a brilliant filmmaker.”