Film industry

#BigStory: Has the movie industry really opened doors for actresses after marriage and pregnancy? | Hindi movie news

Gone are the days when celebrity weddings were a secret and extremely well-kept affair. With the burgeoning paparazzi culture coupled with the ever-changing nature of social media, celebrity weddings are no longer (possibly) kept under wraps. Talk about all the hype that recent weddings of B-Town like Vicky Kaushal-Katrina Kaif, Rajkummar Rao-Patralekhaa, Varun Dhawan-Natasha Dalal and others have created in 2021.

Amid the fan frenzy for photos and videos of the ceremonies, there was also a lot of talk on the internet about whether Katrina Kaif would stop the films after the wedding. While the discussion stems from Katrina’s old interview in which she said she would stop the films after the wedding if she wanted to prioritize them, it does raise a relevant question about existing standards in the industry. Indian entertainment. Time and time again, the film industry has been criticized for its misogynistic attitude. Certainly, the outlook is changing, but has cinema really opened its doors to actresses after marriage and pregnancy? We explore the answers in this week’s #BigStory.

History of yesterday and today
While actresses stepping back on careers after marriage were common before, we’ve seen the trend evolve with more and more actresses these days returning to set soon after their big day. Actress Dia Mirza, who married Vaibhav Rekhi in February, said: “I started working in the industry in 2001. At the time, the only married actress playing big lead roles was Juhi Chawla. Kajol also made films, but less Ageism, sexism and patriarchal attitudes were prevalent. With time and the choices actresses make, as well as a more progressive audience, the minds of producers change. But we still don’t fully accept married women as the heads of films. Producers the mentality continues to be that if a woman is past 35 and married she becomes unattractive to audiences. I think actors like Kareena Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor help dispel this myth. ”

Actor Manoj Bajpayee struggles to express himself from the perspective of his female counterparts. But he says categorically: “Things have changed. Not because of anything else, but because the world has changed. And the world has had an impact on globalization, liberalization; and everything had an impact on society, the world in general.

Bajpayee credits the ’90s actresses who took the first step in bringing about this change. He adds: “The actresses took the first step into marriage and still decided to work and tried to throw themselves into the risky situation in the 90s. Late 90s or early 2000s I would say… The person who comes to me the spirit is Kajol and others. And later, Vidya Balan arrived.


And the directors who came in the early 2000s or late 90s weren’t stereotypically chauvinistic directors, their thinking wasn’t very conventional. So it happened both ways. Some of the successful actresses decided to get married and continue working; at the same time, directors came in who weren’t at all misogynistic, who didn’t look at women or their female characters in a conventional way. ”

Speaking of the times we’ve come across incidents where one actress has been replaced by another after her marriage, Manoj Bajpayee agrees that it did exist. “It was in the early 90s, yes. There was a rule that people didn’t accept a married actress, they wouldn’t like to see a married actress playing a heroine. But that was also true of them. heroes. They wanted to push the romantic image. But then came Shah Rukh Khan who got married early in his career. Later, in the late 90s, creative people came for whom marriage did not decided on their casting, ”reveals Manoj Bajpayee.

By the time of the 1990s, Juhi Chawla’s twinning with Shah Rukh Khan had become a great success; and she hid her marriage, so that her fame wouldn’t take a hit. Film historian Dilip Thakur recalls: “She was considered the number one heroine and was in competition with Manisha Koirala and Madhuri Dixit; and his twinning with Shah Rukh Khan had become a great success. They remained neighbors, but she never officially declared that she was married to Jay Mehta. ”


“But then there were actresses who joined the industry after marriage and Moushmi Chatterjee was one of those actresses. Sharmila Tagore and Nutan got married while they were in great shape, even Mala Sinha from elsewhere. It did not change their career in the 1970s. They were making social films. Dimple Kapadia returned to the cinema after the wedding and was accepted, “he adds.

In today’s corporate age, actresses get married and it’s no big secret. Cinema has also evolved. “But actresses like Kajol and Deepika Padukone aren’t going to play college girls now. I feel like this generation of actresses is a lot more mature. And if something happens, they become producers and make movies for them- Previously, we asked the heroines if she would work after marriage and it doesn’t matter anymore. Shilpa Shetty’s career is still going well today, “Dilip concludes.

Does marital status affect the cast?
“Married actresses never succeed in Bollywood – it’s an old saying that has gone on for a very, very long time,” said casting director Kunal M Shah, adding that with the OTT culture boom, things have changed. and quite to an extent.

“But yes, there are still a lot of filmmakers out there, who don’t prefer to cast married actresses and the usual request is to cast a face that isn’t normally attached or that is married to someone else. that many producers or directors think that in our industry an actress has to be desirable and the masses who handle the most ticket sales in India want, or see actresses, or dream that actresses are desirable. actresses are desirable and when they are married the mind knows that she is married to someone else. This is the general reasoning or opinion that many filmmakers have regarding the casting of married actresses. ”reveals Kunal.

The rise of OTT brought about a change in the secular norm. “If you see the success of Aarya or the new show by Raveena Tandon, Aranyak, or even many others… Karisma Kapoor did Mentalhood, Dia Mirza did Kaafir, all of them were successful. I don’t think that when it comes to OTTs, that’s a question. But in the movies he’s still there, obviously not where he probably was 20 years ago. But part of the filmmakers still think that choosing a married actress as the lead actress means it’s a box office disaster. And I don’t know how and when that will change, but it still prevails, ”Kunal adds.

The brand’s point of view
Brand strategist Karan Taurani thinks the question is very subjective. “If you asked me that question five years ago, it mattered a lot because following the fans and other things working in the industry, all of those things would really change. But I think today actresses despite marriage, are able to be actively involved in the industry. We have seen people like Kareena Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty … I think after marriage their brand value went up instead of down despite the fact that they are not active in the movie industry. It depends on what the actress’s engagement on social media platforms with the audience is, and the perception people have about her that matters, and it’s not just whether the actors are married or unmarried, ”explains Karan.


On the other hand, Karan thinks that celebrities (couples) working together in advertising are the best thing that can happen. He says: “Of course it would be very expensive, but the kind of fan following it would bring, actor and actress together, would be really high. So we saw examples like Virat Kohli -Anushka Sharma , which they did to their brand value and to Manyavar as a brand when they engaged with their ad. So that was a big plus for the advertiser because the number of followers or fans literally doubled up. It’s a big win-win for the advertiser and for the celebrity backing it as it gives you the perfect mix in terms of male and female followers. It’s a perfect strategy for someone who wants to target a very large target audience and generally go very massy. ”

What’s in the future?

Filmmaker Ramesh Taurani who has been in the industry since the 90s has witnessed this change. His film “Merry Christmas” features the newlywed Katrina Kaif, and Taurani believes such a state of mind is a thing of the past.

“I was never skeptical about the casting of married actresses. Maybe that was the reason 20 years ago, but not now. It felt like if the heroine is married, then their The craze will decrease. There was no social media back then. Now, it doesn’t, “he says.

Adding that the thinking and view of the public has now changed, Ramesh Taurani said: “In the 90s, the actors refrained from revealing their marriage. Aishwarya Rai created the trend of married women working in the industry. Kareena Kapoor Khan. Katrina Kaif doesn’t matter to me. Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, all heroines are getting married now. Now people don’t see it that way anymore. They are actors who do their job. People love it. All producers and directors treat actors and actresses as equals and professionals. ”

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West against us

Besides marriage, even pregnancy and childbirth have been an impact factor in film projects for actresses. Lately, filmmakers have been accommodating; we saw how, when Kareena found out about her pregnancy after signing “Veere Di Wedding”, Rhea Kapoor and Shashanka Ghosh decided to change the storyline by showing her character six months pregnant. Kareena filmed for ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ while pregnant with her second baby. She credited Aamir Khan with taking care of her on film sets.

The West is known to have detailed marriage and pregnancy clauses in the contract when hiring an actress for a project. Producer Tanuj Garg, who picked Vidya Balan to star in his 2017 film “Tumhari Sulu,” says his interest and investment. ”