‘Actors being typecast isn’t related to age’
At 22, she played mother to a 15-yearold in the TV show Hasratein. Now 20 years later, seasoned Bollywood actor Shefali Shah (left) has garnered praise for playing mother to actors Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra in her latest release. However, she says that slotting of female actors in the industry is not based on age. “I don’t think it has too much to do with the age as much it has with your image on-screen,” says Shefali. The 42-year-old, who has done films like Gandhi My Father (2007), The Last Lear (2007) and Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005), also points out that it is the industry that typecasts actors. “Unfortunately, people say, ‘the industry typecasts you’. But the thing is that Bollywood comprises of filmmakers and actors. The actors say, ‘I’m an actor and I will play a mother, daughter, warrior... I will play anything’. But somebody has to cast you that way,” says Shefali.
“The film industry needs to break stereotypes. They have to give that chance to actors and say, ‘Oh! This actress is fearless and she says that I am 20, but I will play 40 or I’m 30, but will play 65, so give them something of value’,” she adds. Shefali is now happy to see more womencentric films on the big screen.
However, she says that slotting of female actors in the industry is not based on age. “I don’t think it has too much to do with the age as much it has with your image onscreen,” says Shefali.