Women in Bollywood are acting like never before, but will they surpass the status Bollywood heroes enjoy? “Never,” says actor Bipasha Basu, who feels there is minimal opportunity for female actors in Bollywood.
“In Bollywood, the opportunities for female actors are minimal. We don’t have too many options, except to be safe, look pretty and do some nice dance numbers,” Bipasha told IANS in an interview.
The year 2011 saw films like The Dirty Picture, No One Killed Jessica and Saat Khoon Maaf showcasing promising trends as far as women finding prominent roles in movies is concerned.
But Bipasha says: “Firstly, Dirty Picture has not managed to change attitudes much. If you’re lucky you may get movies like Dirty Picture, or in my case, movies like Raaz, Jism or Corporate.”
“As a one off, you may get a film, which will be talked about. People might say, Oh! Women are getting into trend now! It’s going to be such a great time for female actors.”
“We all are going through it, including my contemporaries. As much as we say that the film industry is changing, it is a hero-centric business and it will always remain as one,” said the 33-year-old, who entered the film industry in 2001 with Ajnabee.
After spending over a decade in the show business, and having cemented her standing with projects like Raaz, Jism, No Entry, Dhoom 2, Apharan, Corporate, Race, Bachna Ae Haseeno and, most recently, the successful Raaz 3, Bipasha admits she can sense a positive change.
“There are now some intelligent film-makers, who are making films which are thankfully not about being feminists but about making entertaining films. As an actor, you have to really hunt for these films! They are not easy to find and they don’t have big budgets. It’s rare for a movie like Raaz 3 to come your way and that’s when you jump at the opportunity,” said the actor.
Who does she blame for the paucity of films with women in focus?
“The audience is the barrier, if we get eyeballs for films which are just heroine-centric, it is definitely going to make more revenue and facilitate infrastructures so that more films are made with women as protagonists. It’s a trend and the effect is not long lasting,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2012.