Bollywood Is Obsessed With Fair Girls: Actor Sayani Gupta
“I am 33 years old but I have been told by many casting directors to not tell my age. In fact, I know only of three or four actresses in the industry who tell their real age,” says actor Sayani Gupta while answering one of our sexist questions on her age. Not everyone can throw shade at sexism like Gupta can. Which is why we sat her down for a chat on Bollywood’s obsession with fair skinned women, the lower shelf life of actresses in the industry and being pestered to get married.
Sayani made her feature film debut in 2012 in Second Marriage Dot Com. After that, she appeared in supporting roles in films such as Fan and Jolly LLB 2. She was recently seen in the director Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15.
On being asked how people react when they get to know that she’s unmarried, she said, “People tell me that I should have got married very earlier. They ask me what I am doing in my life.” Sayani shuts them up by telling them that she wants to become a star and then she will marry.
“My mother would rather want me to do something normal like be a professor, school teacher or an IAS officer.” – Sayani Gupta
Is Bollywood obsessed with fair girls?
Sayani says that Bollywood loves typical Punjabi North Indian fair looking girls but things are changing. “But we still have a long way to go,” she feels.
She also hates how people use the word “bold”. She detests it and wonders what “bold” actually means.
Are your parents happy with your career choice?
“My father is no more. I am sure he would be very happy. He always wanted me to do this. My mother is very depressed. She is absolutely not happy. In fact, the only time she thought I did something valid was when I worked with SRK,” she said.
Fans and their obsession with selfies
“Whenever people come to me for selfies, my mother gets very protective. She thinks that the guys are going to take her daughter’s photo and morph it into a nude photo,” she laughs. She also explains why her mother is averse to this kind of life. “She would rather want me to do something normal like be a professor, school teacher or an IAS officer,” she confesses.
“Becoming a star is a different ball game altogether. There is a hype created around you. It’s a bigger PR mechanism.” – Sayani Gupta
Expiry date surrounding stars
Talking about the question of expiry date that surrounds actresses, she says, “I played a 14-year-old 2 years ago and that’s possible because there are directors like Anurag Basu who have the faith in a particular person and have the imagination of imagining him/her as that character so thankfully, we have directors who will not give in.”
She also sheds light on the hype created around stars. “Becoming a star is a different ball game altogether. There is a hype created around you. It’s a bigger PR mechanism. It’s a different system that you have to figure and it happens to some people and with others, it’s a lot of luck. It’s also about people you know. I am very proud of Radhika Apte‘s and Rajkumar Rao’s journey. It is taking time but they are able to brilliantly do it.”