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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Zareen Khan says she was dropped from a project for not looking rural enough

Actor Zareen Khan has said that she was recently dropped from a project for not looking like a rural girl.

bollywood Updated: Sep 18, 2019 19:07 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Zareen Khan at All India GJC Fashion Nite in Mumbai.
Zareen Khan at All India GJC Fashion Nite in Mumbai.

With opportunities for more people, proliferating platforms, content-oriented projects and awareness for exploitation, Bollywood seems to have come a long way as an industry. Actor Zareen Khan, however, is of the opinion that when it comes to being fair to people of different shapes, colour and sizes, the notion that a female actor needs to be fair and slim, still reigns supreme.

“I don’t think that the stereotypes have been broken, because no matter how much our industry speaks ‘there should be no body shaming’ somehow, a majority of the people want an actress with the perfect body,” says Zareen.

It was this attitude that led to her losing a project recently. The 32-year-old, who has starred in films such as Veer (2010) and Housefull 2 (2012), says, “This was not related to weight... it could have been maybe, but the makers didn’t tell me that way. It was even worse.”


The Aksar 2 (2017) actor continues, “So, there was an amazing script that was narrated to me, and it looked like it was going to happen. This was last year, or just before that. It was supposed to be a story [set in] rural India. All of a sudden, I get a call saying ‘you know what… you don’t look like a rural girl’. What does that even mean? They added ‘your skin is fair, it’s just the whole structure, rural girls are a little on the darker side, very petite, this and that.’ I was like, ‘Okay, are we stereotyping rural women?’ It’s not that everyone in rural India is dark; there are some people on the heavier side as well, with fair skin and light eyes.”

Also read: Zareen Khan recalls how a director once wanted her to rehearse a kissing scene to ‘let go of her inhibitions’

Zareen, however, does give credit where it’s due. Lauding the 2015 film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, which was set in a tier 2 city and had Bhumi Pednekar play an overweight woman, she says, “That’s why [I am referring to] most of them, not all of them. It was such a real film, Bhumi was playing a real person. That’s why she made it look real and got accepted. It’s all about being real at the end of the day. We have female actors with great bodies. Hats off to them for that. But at the end of the day, it should be about your acting, and what you’re portraying than just having a great body!”

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First Published: Sep 18, 2019 18:59 IST

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