Veteran actor Ratna Pathak Shah expressed her embarrassment at senior male actors romancing younger heroines in the film industry.
During an interview with India Today, Shah, who is married to actor Naseeruddin Shah, cited her husband's role in Vidya Balan's film, The Dirty Picture, where he portrayed a senior actor.
Shah commented, "Unko sharam nahi aati to mai kya bolun? Betiyo ki umar ki ladkiyon se ishq ladane mein unko sharam nahi aati to mai kya bolun? (What can I say when they do not feel ashamed of romancing women their daughters' age? What can I say if they are not ashamed of doing it? It is an embarrassment.)" She further shrugged off the idea of women playing similar roles, stating, "Uh! What is this, a competition?"
Recently, Shah talked about ageism highlighting the issue of limited roles for senior female actors. In a recent interview with Film Companion, she shifted the focus to Waheeda Rehman, stating that while the industry is quick to honour the 85-year-old actor with awards, it fails to provide her with roles that match her talent and potential.
Shah expressed her admiration for senior actors like Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, emphasising that they continue to excel in their careers despite their age, and she believes that actors like Waheeda Rehman in India deserve similar opportunities.
Ratna Pathak Shah Demands Good Role For Waheeda Rehman
She voiced her disappointment that talented actors like Waheeda Rehman are often honoured with awards but not offered substantial roles. According to Shah, it's essential to provide these veteran actors with meaningful roles rather than confining them to the sidelines with awards.
All they want to do is give her a little award and stick her in one corner. Really? Give her a good role for Christ's sake. Keep the award.
Previously, Shah has also advocated for actresses like Deepti Naval, whom she believes haven't received the roles that truly showcase their talents. Deepti Naval's most recent appearance was in Pushan Kripalani's film Goldfish earlier this year.
Waheeda Rehman, the legendary actor, was last seen in the movie The Song of Scorpion, which was released in Indian theatres earlier this year. She was also honoured with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Ratna Pathak Shah On Ageism In The Industry
Additionally, Ratna Pathak Shah highlighted how the scarcity of senior female actors in the Indian film industry had discouraged her from considering acting as a long-term profession.
She said, "All of us have had to come to terms with the way we look. And the fact that your body is changing And if I don't want to fiddle with it too much, I need to accept who I am. The most revealing thing to me, as stupid as it seems considering who my mother was (Dina Pathak), is that I thought acting had a shelf life as a woman. I'll act until I'm pretty, and then I'll do something else. I can't imagine I thought like that, but I did."
Suggested Reading: 'Trendsetting Woman': Saira Banu Sends Birthday Wishes To Gauri Khan