Ratna Pathak Shah: Don’t know why I didn’t get much work when I was younger

ByTitas Chowdhury
Apr 10, 2022 08:23 PM IST

The actor says that much like commercial cinema, star system had penetrated the art film circuit too back in the 1980s

Actor Ratna Pathak Shah, who has been a part of critically acclaimed films like Mandi (1983) and Mirch Masala (1987), says that star system was not only a part of the commercial cinema space but it also penetrated the art film circuit back in the 1980s. And that, she believes, is what kept her from working frequently back in the day.

Ratna Pathak Shah was recently seen in the John Abraham starrer Attack
Ratna Pathak Shah was recently seen in the John Abraham starrer Attack

She elaborates, “Our filmmakers haven’t been very adventurous when it comes to casting. They always chose the ones who grabbed eyeballs. In art cinema, it was all about (actors) Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil. Then came (actors) Farooq Shaikh and Deepti Naval; they were thought of after these four names.”

Shah rues the dearth of opportunities for her other contemporaries too, who feels couldn’t explore their potential to the fullest, despite their talent: “It was much later that (actors) Pavan Malhotra and Pankaj Kapur got the parts that they deserved. Much like Deepti, Supriya (Pathak; actor and Shah’s sister) never got the parts she deserved. And I was just not looked at, maybe because I was Naseer’s wife, and they thought I was just not interested in working. Thankfully, that’s done with and dusted.”

The 65-year-old adds, “I don’t know why I didn’t get much work when I was younger. There was something about me that wasn’t acceptable. The only thing I can do about it is I can reflect on that time and think if I was worth being employed. Maybe I wasn’t.”

But she heaves a sigh of relief as she’s getting to work at a time when most people have already retired. Talking about the shift, Shah says, “I certainly know that my skill as an actor has improved hugely in the last 20 years or so. Maybe that’s why I’m getting the kind of roles across languages that you see me doing. And I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m not complaining anymore,” says the Kapoor & Sons (2016) and Thappad (2020) actor.

Get more updates from Bollywood, Hollywood, Musicand Web Seriesalong with Latest Entertainment Newsat Hindustan Times.
Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, March 31, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals