In the ’70s and ’80s, films starring multiple female actors were a common sight. Parveen Babi, Hema Malini, Neetu Singh, Zeenat Aman, Shabana Azmi and Rekha have all worked together in multiple combinations.
The trend, which faded since, seems to be making a comeback now. The latest instance is of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma teaming up for Karan Johar’s just-announced film.
Commenting on the trend, director Anees Bazmee says, "Every actor who works in a film always aims for its betterment. But when you have multiple heroes or heroines, a sense of insecurity might creep in. Then, it’s the job of the writer-director to make everything clear to actors right at the start."
In a recent interview to HT Café, Deepika Padukone — who co-stars with Priyanka Chopra in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next — told us, "I don’t have a say in which actor Sanjay sir is going to cast… women don’t have issues with each other all the time. I have heard a lot of stories (about heroines not getting along), but I feel that the perception is changing."
Exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi feels that multiple names help a film’s prospects. "It adds to the brand power of a film. Especially for promotions, it can prove to be a trump card," he says.
Trade analyst Amod Mehra recalls the ’70s, which saw a lot of social dramas-family capers, which required the casting of multiple actresses. He adds, "Now, makers are again interested in big films with sensible storylines and added star power."
Sharing screen space
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma
Baby: Tapsee Pannu, Madhurima Tuli
Bajirao Mastani: Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra
Action Jackson: Sonakshi Sinha, Manasvi Mamgai, Yami Gautam
Badlapur: Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Radhika Apte
Dil Dhadakne Do: Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra
Fan: Ileana D’Cruz, Vaani Kapoor (unconfirmed)