There has always been an unwritten rule in the industry: try not to play characters older than you. Apparently, the idea was to avoid getting typecast in the role and thus lose out on the plum roles that may come your way in the future. Well, this was in the past. As of now, even relatively younger actors are willing to shed their inhibitions as far as greying hair and puffy faces are concerned. This particular trend is slowly gaining ground -- just like the age of a wine. Here’s taking a look at a few of those who recently went beyond the parameter of time...
Film: Krrish 3
When: More than a decade ago, Roshan Jr shed quite a lot of weight to play a childlike character in Koi…Mil Gaya. In clear contrast to that portrayal, the meticulous actor essayed a distressed fatherly figure in his recent superhero venture. Other than the voice (that didn’t really match his rather old frame), the character was almost proper in its execution.
Anupam Kher essayed the role of a 65-year-old man in Saaransh (1984) when he himself was only 28. Similarly, Rohini Hattangadi played the older version of Kasturba at the age of 27 in Gandhi (1982).
When: Before Ranbir appeared in dyed grey hair on the big screen, he was seen in a series of TV commercials where he played a grumpy old restaurant owner. In the Anurag Basu film, he was effortless as a hunched elderly in those few scenes before his death. In his next, he’s all set to play a teenage boy. Looks like a worthy challenge for an actor who doesn’t mind being challenged.
Film: English Vinglish
When: Making a comeback rarely seemed so convincing for a Bollywood actress. In this Gauri Shinde film, Sridevi played a not-so-young housewife who is fed up of being mocked by her husband and daughter for her poor English. Even though she seemed much younger than their age, the point was made: she was officially back.
Film: The Lunchbox
When: One of the finest craftsmen from B-Town, Irrfan has consistently donned intriguing characters over the years. In The Lunchbox, he played a bespectacled about-to-retire widower who is caught between silently grieving the loss of his beloved wife and contemplating falling in love with a woman he hasn’t even met yet.
Film: Gangs of Wasseypur 2
When: A majority of the young actresses in Hindi cinema have reservations against playing an old woman on screen. Richa is not one of them. Having made her debut as the bit-too-easy yet memorable sister of the heroine, she later played an older woman — a widow trying hard to be influential — in this power-hungry Anurag Kashyap epic.
No, thanks very much
Actresses who declined a role because of the age difference...
>> Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti was supposed to be Raveena Tandon’s dream comeback but the actress apparently quit once she learnt that she would have to play Ajay Devgan's mother.
>> Dancing diva Madhuri Dixit reportedly said no to Anil Kapoor’s film proposal where she was offered to play mother to Sonam Kapoor in the official Hindi remake of Freaky Friday.
>>There was a buzz doing the round that Dia Mirza was to play an elderly woman in an upcoming film but she eventually opted out of it as she wasn’t comfortable with the script.
>> Tabu, who was slated to play the character of Tishyarakshitra (emperor Ashoka’s wife) in a period film The Legend of Kunal, had apparently refused to be shown younger in certain sequences.
>> After playing a mother in Ta Ra Rum Pum, Rani Mukerji opted out of Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children just because she had to play the role of a mother.
>> In Last Vegas, four veteran actors -- Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman -- have gathered for the film. Interestingly enough, each one of them have played characters much younger (as well older) during the span of their long illustrious careers.
>> Leonardo DiCaprio played a much older (and a lot fatter) J Edgar Hoover in the Clint Eastwood film J Edgar.
>> Meryl Streep garnered acclaim for her portrayal of troubled-by-dementia Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.