Neena Gupta Didn’t Get Saand Ki Aankh Because The Financiers Were Opposed To Casting Older Women For The Movie. Just Wow
If I would ever be asked to give a sound example of someone having double standards, surprisingly before even quoting my ex’s name, I’d say Bollywood. Known for a lot of things, clearly not all good, Bollywood loves its double standards like it loves treating its women as props. From favouritism to nepotism, it is guilty of not always being fair and because they are in the limelight, it’s worse. And we say this after having, time and again, witnessed just how superficial it is when it comes to casting actors and actresses in movies. A fact that was yet again pointed by the veteran actress Neena Gupta, as she went on to talk about the obvious ageism in the industry.
Also Read : Neena Gupta Said She Envies The Opportunities Younger Actresses Are Getting. But Are Things Truly Changing?
The Badhaai Ho actress, that has managed to pave her way through the industry with incredible talent, determination and a will to not back down even at the age of 60, is known to call a spade a spade. One of the few actresses in Bollywood who has managed to stay relevant even in such dynamic times, headlining movies as a successful lead protagonist, Neena Gupta has made it clear that age is just a number. But we can’t say the same when it comes to casting directors, producers and even financers in the trade.
Shedding light on how deep the issue runs, Neena Gupta recently opened up about how she had in fact made a pitch to the Saand Ki Aankh director Anurag Kashyap for the role, that essentially should’ve made sense to be essayed by actresses closer to that age, as opposed to Bhumi and Taapsee who were much younger in age and experience. She said, “Film industry is business. If you sell, you are taken into a film, if you don’t then you are not taken. When Anurag announced this film –Saand Ki Aankh, I called him and said ‘Ye role to mai kar sakti hu, kya tum young ka kar rahe ho ya old ka kar rahe ho (I can do this role, are you tracing the younger part of their lives or the older one)?’ He said ‘I wanted to take older actors but my financers said you have to take younger girls’. So it is business – who is suited to the project is taken.”
And even though this is the part where we act shocked at the mindset of the people, we honestly aren’t. For, this hasn’t been the first time that women in Bollywood have been cast aside for younger and newer replacements, all the while actors continue taking up lead roles even in their 50s. Blaming it on the preference of the audience, the filmmakers and the investors, have since ages sold us the idea of women having a much shorter shelf life than their male counterparts in the industry and it needs to change.
Even today, if we were to tally up the number of male actors still bagging lead roles in movies in their 40s and 50s, the number would be astoundingly greater than the number of women actresses getting the opportunity to do the same. And this is where the double standards come into the picture. Despite making a brilliant movie about women empowerment (one that Taapsee and Bhumi, indeed did justice to), it somehow still fell short of staying true to its sentiment, considering they turned down Neena Gupta and the likes of her, for their age. A thing that would’ve never happened to the Khans and Kapoors of the industry.
Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toe kamsekam humse kara lo bhai https://t.co/6Fmrxn0HbE
— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) September 24, 2019
Neena Gupta , had also in fact called out the movie prior to its release, for not considering actresses closer to the age of character for the role, and wrote, “Yes I was just thinking about this. Hamari umar ke role toh kam se kam humse kara lo bhai (please atleast let us do the roles fit for our age).” However, we are glad that women like her are speaking up about the issue and aren’t shy to point out what needs to change. But then again, will this further change? We doubt it entirely.