Over the next few months, you might be deprived of watching kiddie actors on TV. Reason: most popular prime-time shows like Zee TV’s Jhansi Ki Rani and Balika Vadhu on Colors will be taking 10-12 year leaps. That leaves no room for the little Anandi, Jagdish and Manu on the small screen.
Likewise, there haven’t been too many recent films featuring child actors in leading roles. Parzan Dastur, a teenager now, is best recalled as the sardar kid in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. He only recently broke through the main league with his adult debut in Piyush Jha’s political drama, Sikander, last year.
Darsheel Safary is looked at as the dyslexic kid in Taare Zameen Par and Sana Sheikh continues to be popular as Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter, Anjali, in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Trade-smith Amod Mehra says that the child actors had scope between 1960- 80. Not any more. “Now, even children’s films don’t necessarily topline child actors. Neetu Singh, Sarika, Honey and Daisy Irani were among the top child stars. But after a point, writers stopped penning roles for children. Films used to be sold because one of the Irani sisters had an important part or Sarika had an exceptional character in the film. Films like Masoom with Urmila Matondkar and Jugal Hansraj are not made anymore. So, where is the chance for any child actor to become a star? Frankly, one can’t say how far Darsheel will also go,” states Mehra, adding that even he starred in Raj Kapoor’s Sangam when he was a kid.
Anil Wanvari, Indiantelevision. com, says that with TV shows going into the leap mode, child actors will get a chance to grow up normally. “It takes a while for it to sink in but children take it positively. They can be with their friends, study and attend school. Even parents get a breather from taking their kids to shoots and spending long hours on the sets,” he asserts.
Reportedly, child actors in the movies are paid approximately between Rs 50,000 to Rs 5, 00,000, depending on the length of the role and the amount of time required from them for the shoot. For TV, the figures are lower, but since the fee is paid per episode, it adds up to a staggering amount.