If Bollywood’s fixation with female actors’ age and beauty bothers you, join the club. Actor Konkona Sen Sharma isn’t pleased with it either. Known for her powerful performances and intelligent choice of roles, the 35-year-old says: “I wish that Bollywood weren’t so youth and beauty obsessed when it comes to women. I think it is very ‘under representative’ of women in their 30s. It seems that the ideal age for a Bollywood heroine is 24, which is great, but it would be nice to see some older women too on the big screen.”
Konkona, who won applause for her acting in the recently-released film, Talvar, questions this thought process. “Who are these people who are taking these decisions of casting only young actors in films? It is the filmmakers and the film producers. I don’t know if that is what the audience wants because I really believe that masses respond to a good story,” asks the actor, who has given critically-acclaimed performances in movies such as Page 3 (2005), Mr and Mrs Iyer (2002) and Omkara (2006).
I think most of the times there is a disconnect between audience and filmmakers. I think the people who make these key decisions have a certain notion of what will work and they don’t want to take any kind of risk, adds the actor who won a National Award for Best Actress in 2002 for Mr and Mrs Iyer.
Although she has been part of mainstream films such as Mixed Doubles (2006) and Aaja Nachle (2007), the actor has done films in the Bengali film industry as well, and she is very content with her selection of work. “I think given the choices that were available to me, I don’t think there were any huge gaps that I would want to fill. I picked up the best of what I got,” says Konkona, who recently announced her separation from husband, actor Ranvir Shorey.