Sushmita Sen: Not just a pretty face

Former Miss Universe feels Indian film industry is based on talent rather than actors’ looks, ages

Ians February 11, 2017
Sushmita Sen. PHOTO: FILE

Actor Sushmita Sen feels the Indian film industry is no longer based on an artist's physical appearance and age, but talent is what is most important. She believes that age only adds experience to an actor's career.

"No, I don't agree with the age thing anymore. If you had asked me this when I joined the film industry, I would have said a resounding yes!” Sushmita said, when asked if she feels Indian cinema is based on an actor’s looks and age.

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The actor shared that Hollywood veteran Meryl Streep has played some incredible parts through her career at different ages. “Meryl is someone I deeply admire...And now comes our very own Sridevi...I mean, I give you just that one example because it's a success," she added.
The 41-year-old said that age adds experience onto the screen space. “It goes to show that age only adds to the experience and to actually bringing alive more of that experience onto the screen," said Sushmita, who walked the runway for designer Sashi Vangapalli at the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017.
The actor, who is a single mother to daughters Renee and Alisah Sen, shared that it would be tragic if an actor's career gets over at the age of 25.  "It is a beautiful thing to grow and then to depict that in cinema. So, I disagree with that. We are definitely headed in the right direction and there is a roll and a script for everyone. We just need the right directors to come up with them," she added.

The former Miss Universe feels the change in the roles essayed by women in Indian cinema is fantastic. "It's a fantastic time for women actors in the film industry because I have seen in the last 13 years alone, the whole concept of a woman-centric film being the centre of all the attention," Sushmita stated.

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Sushmita stated the Indian audience is getting more educated regarding such films. "We're a lovely film-going nation. I do feel very strongly that more and more opportunities such as these should arise through a good script, great makers and an audience that is willing to learn and enjoy different kinds of cinema."
Having featured in films such as Biwi No.1 and Main Hoon Na, Sushmita's last big screen appearances were in the 2010 Bollywood films No Problem and Nirbak. When asked if it was a conscious decision to stay away from the big screen, she said, "As far as a conscious decision goes, it's really an amalgamation of a lot of things. It's just that I made a choice this time. To be a mum, that was very much a part of every little detail of a second child being brought up and Alisah is now seven."
Sushmita also said the kind of scripts and films that came her way was another reason why she preferred to stay away from movies. "It's the kind of scripts and the films that were coming my way. I chose to utilise my time more productively. I understand and respect the need for us to constantly follow a system of films after films, but the truth of the matter is, I had to choose and prioritise and I chose this.”

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