Ratna Pathak Shah recalls 1970s-80s films in which 'poor' Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi 'cried all the time'

Published on Jul 27, 2022 06:39 AM IST

Ratna Pathak Shah opened up on how comedy roles 'saved her life'. She said that in the 1970s-80s actors such as Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi would either cry or were ‘angry all the time' in their films.

Ratna Pathak Shah has spoken about Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi. 
Ratna Pathak Shah has spoken about Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi. 

Actor Ratna Pathak Shah has spoken about the comedy roles she took up in her career and how they ‘saved' her life. In a new interview, she said that comedy made her realise that acting is 'very much more than crying and shouting loudly'. Ratna said that she isn't an actor who would 'cry, look sad and angry' and cited the examples of late actor Smita Patil and veteran actor Shabana Azmi. Ratna added that they either 'cried or were angry all the time' in their films. (Also Read | Ratna Pathak Shah asks if India wants to be like Saudi Arabia)

Ratna spoke about how she is grateful to Anand Mahendroo for offering her Idhar Udhar (1985–1998). The serial also featured Supriya Pathak, Shammi, Dina Pathak, Nisha Singh, Tom Alter, Guddi Maruti, Lillete Dubey, Amita Nangia and Kanwarjeet Paintal. She also spoke about how even Filmi Chakkar (1993–1995) and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai (2004–2006) changed her life.

Speaking with Pinkvilla, Ratna said, "Comedy saved my life. Comedy made me realise that acting is very much more than crying and shouting loudly. That there is a lot of skill and hard work and timing required for comedy and that training oneself is an ongoing process and you got to keep doing that all the time. So all three things have helped, all three ideas have helped."

She also added, "I'm not simply an actress who is going to cry, look sad and look angry. Because that's what women did in those days. Look at all the films of the 70s-80s even the art film types. What did poor Smita (Patil) and Shabana (Azmi) do? Either they cried or they were angry all the time. That's how stereotypically the film-writers were looking at. They (women) had no right to be happy or were traumatised with something or the other. Those are the kind of stories picked up."

Apart from Filmi Chakkar, Idhar Udhar, and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Ratna also featured in several other serials such as Tara (1993–1997), Gubbare (1999), Apna Apna Style (2000) and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai: Take 2 among others.

Ratna made her debut in Bollywood with Shyam Benegal's Mandi (1983) which also featured Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah. She later featured in Mirch Masala (1987), Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008), Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012), Kapoor & Sons (2016), Nil Battey Sannata (2016), Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017), and Thappad (2018) among many others.

She was last seen in Divyang Thakkar's Jayeshbhai Jordaar alongside Ranveer Singh, Shalini Pandey and Boman Irani. Ratna will be seen next in Tarun Dudeja's Dhak Dhak alongside Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Sanjana Sanghi.

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