Slotting of female actors not age-related in B’wood: Shefali

At 22, she played a mother to a 15-year-old in the TV show Hasratein. Now 20 years later too, seasoned actor Shefali Shah landed a mother’s role in Dil <g data-gr-id="32">Dhadakne</g> Do. She says slotting of female actors in the industry is not based on one’s age.

“I don’t think it has too much to do with the age as much it has with your image on screen,” Shefali told when asked if roles to actors are given based on their age and marital status in the industry. The 42-year-old, who has done films like Gandhi, My Father, The Last Lear and Waqt: The Race Against Time, also pointed out that it is after all, the industry that typecasts actors.

“Before Waqt: The Race Against Time, I did Hasratein. I was 22 years old back then. I was playing a mother to a 15-year-old girl and then I did Waqt: The Race Against Time, which was kind of a nail in the coffin.”

“Unfortunately, we (people) say ‘The industry typecasts you.’. But I want to ask, ‘Who is the industry?’ It’s the makers and the actors. The actors say, ‘I’m an actor and I will play a mother, daughter, mermaid, warrior...I will play <g data-gr-id="30">anything’</g>. But somebody has to cast you that way,” Shefali said. At the cost of “over-stepping”, said Shefali, actors who are “fearless” to play older roles should be “valued”. 

“‘Who is it that slots you?’ It is the industry, and who is the industry? It’s the makers, right? So, they have to be able to break it, they have to give that chance to actors and <g data-gr-id="37">say, ‘</g>Oh! This actor is fearless and she says that I am 20, but I will play 40 or I’m 30, but will play 65, so give them something of value,” said the actor. 

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