While it is believed that filmmakers have started giving more importance to women-centric subjects, and actors like Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma, among others, are ruling the roost in Bollywood, Juhi Chawla has a different opinion.
According to the actor, 90% of all Hindi films that are made today are still “hero-centric”. “I don’t think there has been a huge shift. Most of the films still focus on Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, etc. The percentage of films that have someone like a Kangana Ranaut shining in it is really low,” insists Juhi.
Having said that, she feels that actresses have been playing prominent parts in Hindi films for many years now. “When I look back, Vidya earned popularity because of films like The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012). Tabu was lauded for her part in Astitva (2000), and a few other films, in which she played the protagonist. So, there have always been roles for actresses that have helped them make their mark,” says Juhi. But she still doesn’t believe there has been a change in the kinds of films that are being made in Bollywood.
Watch Tabu in a song from Astitva
The only difference, according to the actor, is that there is more focus on the glamour aspect. “These days, there is too much emphasis on how actors look. It is more about how glitzy everything appears — be it the actors or the location of the film. Because of this, I feel the quality of movies, scenes and lyrics has dropped. Films today barely have memorable dialogues,” says the actor.
However, when it comes to competition in the industry, Juhi feels not much has changed. “When actors are vying for the same kinds of roles, there’s bound to be a little rivalry. Deep friendships cannot be forged when you are competing with each other,” she says.While it was believed that Juhi was not comfortable working alongside Madhuri Dixit Nene in the past, she did share screen space with her in Gulaab Gang (2014). “Madhuri was playing the heroine in the movie, and I played the villain. Because my role was diametrically opposite to hers, I came on board. Had we both been asked to do positive roles, I would have said no,” says Juhi, adding that there is bound to be competition among actresses.
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