We often see celebrities talk about their struggles and stories and the challenges they had to face. But many come around as fake and self-promoting.
These twelve actresses spoke the truth and weren’t afraid to share their thoughts on the industry and the hurdles they faced as a woman.
“The heroine doesn’t feel cold. The heroine doesn’t feel hot, and the heroine doesn’t mind the rain. And now she should not mind less money than the hero too? “
Tabu on gender disparity in 2001.
“Hindustan ki audience par ye baat force ki gayi hai ki dekhiye ji iss (film) mean toh sex hai. Isme toh aadhe nange shareer hain auraton ke, toh aap film dekhne ke liye aaiye.”
Smita Patil on objectifying women regarding her 1981 movie Chakra.
“Well, where the costumes were concerned, I never compromised. I said I have to feel comfortable when I’m performing. Kyuki C.I.D ke waqt bhi, can you believe, my first Hindi movie, woh maine contract mein likhwaya, ki agar costume mujhe nahi pasand aaya, main nahi pehnungi.”
Waheeda Rehman has always been clear on two things: one, she would not wear a bikini, and second, she would not change her name as it was the trend at that time.
Ratna Pathak Shah
“Too many of our grossly overpaid stars should not be even allowed in front of a movie camera. There should be a law to prevent such people from acting.”
Ratna Pathak Shah on some A-listers who get paid more than deserving women actors.
“I think it’s essential for a woman to be independent. When I say independent, it means both: financially and emotionally.”
Rekha, in 1985 spoke up about how having a love life and a career are two different things.
“I don’t believe in pleasing anyone just for a role. It’s preposterous! And producers aren’t fools. They won’t accept me blindly just because a hero has promoted me.”
Madhuri Dixit on never pleasing anyone for a role.
“I could have earned crores by doing hundreds more Rangeela that came my way. I had moved on to Kaun and Pinjar.”
Urmila Matondkar on being happy with a pay cut for meaningful roles over high-paying stereotype “sex bomb” characters.
“Films are financed by men, written by men, and mostly written for men. Leading men were always paid a lot more than the leading ladies.”
In 2019, Zeenat Aman opened up about the always-existent gender disparity in Bollywood.
“Well, they’ve decided that a woman-oriented script means that there has to be rape, and she has to take revenge. I mean, that’s it.”
Dimple Kapadia in an interview with Pritish Nandy in 2018.
“Heroine-centric films are rare. Thankfully, now there are fewer films where women are used just as decorative items.”
Sharmila Tagore in 2013 on how times have brought a better change for women actors.
“The number of good roles is limited, while the heroines are a dime a dozen. Now Madhuri and I may not be competing personally for the same roles, but each of our secretaries does try to get the best ones for us.”
Juhi Chawla on how complicated it can be for two heroines to coexist.
“When people tell me how beautiful I looked in a film, I don’t react. But when they tell me I acted well, I feel proud. If I look sexy just wearing a sari, can I help it?”
Sridevi on how people forget to acknowledge her work.