Shabana Azmi gives shout out to Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt for leading change for women in Bollywood: It’s good sign - Hindustan Times
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Shabana Azmi gives shout out to Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt for leading change for women in Bollywood: It’s good sign

May 08, 2024 04:20 PM IST

Actor Shabana Azmi talks about changing position of women in showbiz, while giving a special mention to Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt.

Actor Shabana Azmi is happy that the position of women is changing in showbiz. In a recent interview, she complimented actors Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt for pitching in the change by picking important parts in commercial films. (Also read: Shabana Azmi's musings on marriage in Shekhar Kapur films: From Masoom to What's Love Got To Do With It?)

Shabana Azmi completes 50 years in the industry in 2024.
Shabana Azmi completes 50 years in the industry in 2024.

In an interview with MidDay, Shabana, who is completing five decades in the film industry this year, shared that it is a great time for actors to dive into the commercial world of Bollywood, where diverse roles are being scripted for women as well as actors of all age groups. She has worked with Alia on Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.

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Evolving role of women in the industry

Shabana made her debut in 1974 with Ankur where she was noticed for her exceptional acting skills, following which the actor went on to do projects such as Nishant and Godmother. She was noticed for pushing boundaries of women’s representation on screen, and the actor now admits a lot has changed since then.

“The scenario has improved vastly. Earlier, it was only left to parallel cinema to give women substantial roles. Today, look at the roles Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone are doing in mainstream films. I believe if change has to happen, it should reflect in mainstream cinema, or you are preaching to the converted,” she said in the interview.

“That there are so many women on the set today in positions of authority is a good sign. Since there are so many female writers now, I hope it will lead to more women-centred content,” she was quoted. When asked about the issue of pay disparity, which several female stars have consistently spoken about in the past,” said the 73-year-old actor, adding, “It will (change) when women-centric films start making money at the box office. Heroes need to be ready to play second fiddle like women did all these years”.

Optimistic about pay disparity

The actor also spoke about pay disparity in the industry, where she said that she is optimistic about pay equality seeping in. “It will [change] when women-centric films start making money at the box office. Heroes need to be ready to play second fiddle like women did all these years,” she said.

A special honour in London

Shabana will receive the City of London Corporation’s Freedom of City of London Award on May 10 in the UK capital's Guildhall for her contribution to Indian cinema and as a campaigner for women’s rights. The award presentation will be part of the celebrations to mark the actress’s 50 years in industry at the 26th UK Asian Film Festival. (Read: New York Indian Film Festival to celebrate Shabana Azmi's 50 years in cinema)

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