Actor Shefali Shah believes the film industry struggles to give roles to women after they hit a certain age. Asked whether roles start drying up for female actors after they get married, Shah said the discrepancy is wider than that. "It is not just after they get married but even after a certain age, they don't know what to do with actresses. So, either you are 18, a 22-year-old heroine or a mother of a 30- year-old," the actor said.
"They don't know what to do with actors in between that, which is very sad. I don't think it has to do anything with marriage or role-playing as such, I think it is a much bigger and wider discrepancy, which is sad," she said.
The Satya actor, however, feels things have started to change on a small level.
"There are fantastic roles being written. I have to admit that it is changing. There are roles for Vidya Balan, there is a Lipstick Under My Burkha, a Pink. So there are these films, which are women-oriented. When you see Lipstick Under My Burkha, the women are not exactly in their 20s," she said.
Shah was speaking at the launch of her latest short film Juice, last evening. The 14-minute film is the story of Manju Singh (Shah) and her husband, who are hosting a get-together of families on a really warm night. Between the snacks, drinks and the laughs, something completely unexpected happens. Directed by Masaan fame Neeraj Ghaywan, the short film takes on patriarchy and how a woman has the right to make her own space in the male-dominated world. Ghaywan said the top female actors are experimenting a lot more than the male stars, who are still catering to an image.
"In fact, our female stars are experimenting a lot more than the male stars. You can clearly see the difference between what the top three female stars are doing.... Male stars still have to cater to that massy tag of being a superstar. So, that's the difference that I have seen," the director said.
Juice is presented by 'Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films'.