Bipasha Basu may have earned rave reviews for her performance in Raaz 3, which was largely a female-oriented film. Despite that, the actor feels there is a long way to go before actresses get their due in Bollywood.
“It’s a hero-centric industry and it’s going to be difficult to break through that,” she says. “Films with female protagonists don’t attract many eyeballs. Most of them are perceived as feminist films. If Bollywood starts giving women major roles in entertaining movies, then the audience too will open up to the idea of watching commercial films in which the actresses do more than just play the role of the hero’s love interest.”
Bipasha says that it is this dilemma that is driving even her contemporaries’ career choices. “Everyone is dealing with the same emotions that I have experienced over the years — to try and look out for something that has more meat. Articles about female actors usually say that they are just pretty faces. But think about it, how many opportunities do we have? If we don’t do that (act in hero-centric films), what else do we do? If we don’t play safe, how do we last long in the industry? I’m one of the lucky ones; I have stayed afloat for 10 years and chosen what I want to do. Everyone’s not so lucky. The business makes you play safe,” she says.
So, are heroines more competitive than heroes? “I don’t think so. Heroines are struggling in their own space to make a mark and find their space next to the hero and the heroism; to leave their mark with whatever minimum they have, and that is a struggle,” she says.