Vidya Balan says it's 'unfortunate' Mission Mangal is seen as an ‘Akshay Kumar film’, despite having five female actors
Vidya Balan has talked about how her 2019 film, which had five female actors, was still seen as an ‘Akshay Kumar film’.
Actor Vidya Balan talked about the 2019 film Mission Mangal in a new interview. Vidya said that the film which featured Vidya along with other four female actors, was called an ‘Akshay Kumar film’ while the other female cast were not seen as the film's lead. Also Read: Akshay Kumar on Mission Mangal: ‘My film 2.0 had a budget of 500 crore, India’s Mars mission cost less than that’
Mission Mangal starred Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Nithya Menen and Sharman Joshi, apart from Akshay Kumar. The film, based on India's first Mars mission, made around ₹300 crore worldwide.
Vidya said during O Womaniya! 2022 Adda organised by Film Companion, “The pandemic has become an easy excuse for people to say that now female-led films will not work in the theatres, because basically, our industry is going through some kind of flux where a lot of our films are bombing, terribly. And they are your so-called, male hero-led films. But who takes the beating is the female-led films. Do you not realise that Gangubai Kathiawadi had no man spearheading it, it was Alia Bhatt. That film has done great numbers compared to a lot of other films with male heroes. It’s very frustrating, because there’s no logic to it.”
She added, “For example, even a film like Mission Mangal, which did great business, finally it will be seen as an Akshay Kumar film, which is very unfortunate. It’s not Akshay Kumar and five other leading ladies, because we’re not being seen as having led the film in any way. But the story couldn’t have been told with just Akshay Kumar, and it wasn’t told with just him. Someone was talking to me about my last hits, and they didn’t mention Mission Mangal, and they said, ‘Woh toh Akshay Kumar…’ and I was like, ‘Did you not see me and four other female actors?'”
Vidya made her acting debut with the popular comedy show Hum Paanch, before making her film debut with Parineeta in 2006. Over the years, the actor has carved a niche doing several successful women-led films, such as Kahaani, The Dirty Picture, Shakuntala Devi, Sherni, and Jalsa. She has also worked in films such as Parineeta, Bhool Bhulaiyya, and Halla Bol. Her recently released and critically-acclaimed films include Shakuntala Devi, Sherni, and Natkhat.