It would be hard to find a hot-blooded male who doesn’t remember Halle Berry’s coral bikini scene in the James Bond-hit Die Another Day (2002) or Jennifer Aniston going full monty in The Good Girl (2002). Demi Moore’s topless act in Striptease (1996) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) sketching Rose’s (Kate Winslet) nude portrait in Titanic (1997) are scenes that remain etched in the audience’s memory decades after their respective films released. What remains common between these actors is that they were either married or in committed relationships while shooting these scenes. Single or not, doing bold scenes is no big deal for the leading ladies of Hollywood. However, in India, there’s a different story to tell.
Too much skin?
For instance, though Kareena Kapoor Khan continues to maintain in her recent interviews that she doesn’t mind doing intimate scenes or sporting a bikini if the script demands, she has reportedly rejected director Tigmanshu Dhulia's forthcoming film, Begum Samru, as it contained a lot of body exposure. “I don’t think any of the top actresses in our country would be comfortable with the nudity in the film,” Dhulia was quoted saying in an interview to a daily. The director had also approached Rani Mukerji for the role of an 18th century nautch girl. However, Rani, who too is in a committed relationship for years now with filmmaker Aditya Chopra, rejected his offer. Dejected, the filmmaker is looking for an international actor for the role.
However, married or committed actors not agreeing to do bold scenes is not new in Bollywood. In 2006, Amitabh Bachchan had reportedly asked for a kissing scene between Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan to be axed as the former Miss World was by then already engaged to his son Abhishek. Aishwarya has since neither donned a bikini nor done any intimate scene in any of her films. Similarly, post her wedding in 1999, Madhuri Dixit, once known to scorch the screen with numbers like ‘Dhak dhak’ and ‘Choli ke peeche’, has not attempted any risqué acts. But whether or not she will be seen in a bold avatar in her forthcoming film, Dedh Ishqiya, remains to be seen.
But every rule has an exception and that is true here as well with actors like Vidya Balan and Chitrangda Singh. While the much-married Chitrangada was seen in intimate scenes in her debut film, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005), Vidya too had no qualms doing bold scenes in her first release post her wedding. Ghanchakkar, which released in June this year, saw a lot of bold banter between the actor and the film’s male lead Emraan Hashmi.