Both Bollywood and regional Indian cinema, have been to some extent, male-centric. Male actors, more often than not, bear the responsibility of the entire movie on their shoulders with the female actors providing a refreshing break.
Telugu cinema is flooded with Mumbai actresses in spite of abundance of talent in south India. There was an era when roles were tailor-made for actors like Vijayashanthi and Sridevi. The focus is more on men now, except for Anushka Shetty (who played the lead in 'Arundhati'). Male actors get big budget movies that earn at the box office while women aren’t given the same roles. Heroines are often characterised as glamour dolls.
Believing that, perhaps now we will accept the fact that a female character can also be as interesting as a male character, if not more. I hope more writers see that potential in women-oriented scripts, or those where the woman is treated in a strong, powerful, real way.
Dominance of men in almost every walk of life has been prevailing for ages now. And the entertainment industry is no exception. Producers and directors believe that only male actors can guarantee returns. Actors get 10 to 20 times more than heroines. The day the producers and directors start making films with actresses as a hero, then the films will also start making that kind of money, and we will also get paid that much.
I am making my Bollywood debut with 'Chashme Buddoor', which is a remake of the 1981 comedy of the same name. The characters in the movie are real, relate-able, and engaging. My role in the film is very strong even though it is very different from Deepti Naval’s character in the original. I play a contemporary and urbanised character. I think it is a big break for me in Bollywood. It’s different from the original. Young, a little over-the-top, adapted to modern times and coloured by David Dhawan’s sensibilities. The film is releasing in August.
It’s been absolutely fantastic. The entire team of 'Chashme Buddoor' has been tremendous. Whatever I say about Dhawan is going to be less, because he’s so good and knows exactly what he wants out of his actors and how to get it out of them. He’s a great person along with being a great director. He has so much energy, and his movies reflect the same.
I have few films on hand at present and my role is very different in all these films. There’s Venkatesh-starrer 'Shadow', 'Gundello Godari' — a bilingual set in the backdrop of the 1986 Godavari floods — an untitled flick directed by Chandrasekhar Yeleti with Gopichand in the lead. Then there is Vishal-starrer 'Madha Gaja Raja' and an untitled flick starring Ajith and Arya in the lead.