Age no bar: Senior actors get back to work!
After the Bombay High Court dismissed the Maharashtra government’s directive that barred 65-plus cast-and-crew members from sets, a number of senior artists have either already restarted work, or are readying to get back in front of the cameraUpdated: Aug 26, 2020, 22:01 IST
Back in May, when the Maharashtra government allowed for the resumption of film and television shoots, it brought bad news for cast-and-crew members above the age of 65 years as the guidelines barred them from being on the sets. But earlier this month, the Bombay High Court dismissed the Maharashtra government’s resolution. As a result, a number of senior artists are getting back to work now.
To start with, Amitabh Bachchan, 77, has kicked off shooting for the new season of his TV game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati. Plus, Rakesh Bedi, 65, has joined the team of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. Also, Neena Gupta (61) and Kanwaljit Singh (68) have just restarted work on Kaashvie Nair-directed yet-untitled next (starring Arjun Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead).
That’s not all. We have exclusively learnt that while Naseeruddin Shah, 70, will soon start shooting for Baazaar director Gauravv K Chawla’s new web show, Shabana Azmi, 69, is readying to face the camera for a web series based on the life of Mughals. Experts, on their part, feel “senior artists are the blood-life of showbiz world and so, how could anyone take away the right to livelihood of so many of them.”
“How can you stop top talents such as Anupam Kher, Amitabh Bachchan or Naseeruddin Shah?” says Indian Film and Television Directors Association president, Ashoke Pandit, adding: “And why target only the showbiz world? By that logic, the same rule should apply to every sector -- from corporate world to even politics. I am extremely happy that they -- like everyone else -- are getting back to work.”
While actor Surekha Sikri, 75, told us recently that “many of us (65 plus artists) are going through a difficult time, and need money to survive”, director David Dhawan feels a “creative person can’t be retired just because he/she has turned 65.” “Look at so many of our great talents. You couldn’t have suddenly asked them to sit at home,” says the senior director.
For filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, the directive must have brought a “lot of headache” for many like him. “It would have been practically impossible to follow such a directive. At any given point, there are so many senior cast-and-crew members on the set,” he says. Pandit feels for senior actors too, it was a “matter of survival” after sitting at home for over five months. “Also, 65 is like the new 40 in today’s times. Plus, an artist only gets better with age,” he concludes.