Ruling out any scope for ageing actresses in showbiz, National Award winning actress Neena Gupta, who got into acting in the 1980s, says she is seen less frequently on screen because there aren't enough offers for people like her and that the trend reflects the mindset of society.
"In Indian families, an older woman is a useless woman. The same way older actresses hardly have any role," the 54-year-old Neena told media in an interview. "It is a mirror image of society. I don't expect much from acting at this age," added the actress who has been in showbiz for about three decades.
In terms of talent, Neena knows no boundaries and made her mark with her role in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983), and won the 1994 National Film Award for best supporting actress for her performance in Woh Chokri.
In between, she also appeared in international ventures like Gandhi as well as The Deceivers and Cotton Mary. Recently, the actress was seen on the big screen in Manish Tiwary's Issaq, in which she had a challenging role, but she says it was cut short.
"There were more scenes, but they were cut. This is why I was sad as some very nice scenes were cut due to the length," she said. "Any actor would love to play a nice character. All actors want to do different roles. I thought this was a big challenge to look and behave different. This is why I took it. It is rare to get a challenging role in movies," she added.
Neena has been known for leaving her mark on the small screen as well. In fact, she entered the television industry in the 1980s, a period when TV was described as an intelligent alternative of cinema. Some of the shows that she did include Khandaan, Mirza Ghalib and Dard.
In 1993, she came out with her telefilm Bazar Sitaram, which was appreciated with the National Film Award for the best first non-feature film. If that was not enough, she went behind the camera and brought shows like Gumraah and Saans, which were rich in content and high on entertainment.
In the last two decades, the television industry has grown manifold and Neena said that the growth has its positives as well as negatives. "When something is young, it takes some time. it goes bad and comes up again. I think TV is going through that phase. There are some nice things and some not-so-nice things," she said.
With a motto to try different things always, Neena does not accept too many offers.