In an industry where men still get the best of the roles, bunch of women are rewriting the rules. Seeking out layered characters even in popular mainstream movies. In 2013 Deepika Padukone went from easily likable Naina Talwar, in Ye Jawani Hai Diwani, to the wacky daughter of Tamilian boss in Chennai Express and then topping that year with a feisty performance in Ram Leela. Kangana Ranaut played an evil mutant in Krrish 3, bringing the right measure of vulnerability to the part. In Ghanchakkar, Vidya Balan sportingly amped it up, in a shrill sartorially challenged housewife, who opened her home to a pair of gangsters. Nimrat Kaur braught a powerful poignancy to the role of a neglected housewife who begins a tentative relationship over handwritten notes in the Lunchbox. These four leading ladies behind significant performances, shared their thoughts about the industry which I am bringing to the readers.
Does there always need to be a little fear or pain inside an actor to create great performances?
Vidya-“I have heard people say that there should be a certain hunger in the stomach, sometimes that helps you deliver a good performance, whether you are a musician or an actor, but I really think that I need my stomach to be full. I don’t think that fear is a nice place to come from. I think certain amount of nervousness is fine but fear is not something I really connect with.”
Who is the actress you grew up admiring?
Deepika-“Well, I grew up in a sports family where films were not the important part. It was just that one Yash Raj’s film or that one Dharma film which looked like wholesome family entertainer, which my parents could take all of us to watch. So, I did not grew up watching or idolising anyone.”
Do you remember the moment you announced to your family you want to be an actor?
Nimrat-“It was tough and difficult to tell my parents because during those years, Bombay had lot of baggage about it, specially for middle class families from simple places. Everybody was full of notions like “ladki akeli bhaj rahe ho, pagal ho gae ho, kya baat kar rahe ho”. But once you get past that hurdle it becomes fine.
Given that acting in films is a fickle profession for females, do you find yourself thinking that after an age roles will dry up?
Kangana-“People very conveniently ask these questions to women but they would never ask this question to men. .This question itself is unfair and should not be asked. But still I think this generation still has a baggage of this question, we should make a change so the next generation would not be asked this question. An actress should not necessarily look a certain way in order to perform a certain role, I belong to this industry and if tomorrow I am not playing a superwomen, I would still want to use my skills and my experiences some or the other way. May be I would want to write, direct or produce because this Industry as much belongs to actresses as to heroes.
Is there a peace of criticism or rejection that stayed with you?
Vidya-” I faced a lot of criticisms as you may know, specially for my dressing. I don’t know what was wrong, I still do not know. I remember reading a blog which said ‘she is so badly dressed she should not step out of her house. That was a very harsh comment for me.”
Kangana- “In my case, people have said many rude and mean things to me but the worst phase of my life was when someone targeted my sister when she had an acid attack. Her case was badly scrutinized and some blogger wrote really rude things about my sister.”
Nimrat- “It was when someone once suggested that I should consider plastic surgery as that is the way to actually get some good work. I felt like people sometime forget basic human decency. Just because we are in a profession where we are easily accessible does not mean anybody would just come and say whatever they want.”
Deepika- “Recently in some magazine I was written off as a non-actor which was really hurting. On top of that they wrote she is tall, she looks great and she wears amazing clothes, but there is nothing more to her than that. That time I felt all my efforts went down the drain because if I am regarded as an actor, I want to be known as one.”
Well, these were some of the things told by the top actresses of Hindi cinema, we wish them all the best and we hope that they will engage and entertain us in a manner they always did!