Leading ladies calling the shots in Bollywood
A far cry from their usual image, it's the actresses who seem to be on the top of their game in B-Town
The Indian Independence not only signalled the beginning of an era for a democratic country but Bollywood too saw a sea of change. Accomplished actresses like Nargis, Waheeda Rehman, Madhubala and Meena Kumari found their place of pride in women-centric films.
Years passed by and the trend lost steam, except for a few appearances by the likes of Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi due to parallel cinema, who kept the flag flying high and proud. Come the new decade and more and more leading ladies of Bollywood seem to be on the top of their game never flinching from taking cool and composed decisions that serve them the best.
Taking a stand: By the tone of her statement, it was quite evident that the newbie knew what she was talking about. In a recent interview, the 21-year-old apparently went on record saying she would prefer not to work with actors much older than her.
Taking a stand: This particular actress has been praised as much for her acting chops as she is derided for her flabs. No matter what the opinions are, she has remained true to her own views and given her filmography, she isn’t doing bad either. By the end of 2013, she’d be having six releases in a year - no crash diet included, whatsoever.
Taking a stand: Bebo was supposed to star in Zoya Akhtar’s upcoming film along with Ranbir Kapoor. The Kapoor cousins were set to play onscreen siblings for the first time. But as soon as the news broke out that Ranbir has opted out of the project, the buzz was followed by the actress also deciding to leave the space empty.
Taking a stand: With three blockbusters back to back, she is inarguably the most bankable actress around. Regardless, she has already set her priorities. And when a foolproof Hollywood project - the seventh installation of Fast and Furious franchise, to be precise - came her way, she simply rejected the offer citing clashing dates.
Taking a stand: Though this Mumbai belle may be a name to reckon with in the West, she hasn’t made her Bollywood debut yet. And this was about to change with Navdeep Singh’s forthcoming NH10. Turns out the actress disagreed with the vision set for the film before finally walking out of the ambitious project.
Taking a stand: For some reason, Kat appears to be the first choice for almost all the big banner films. The funny part is she usually takes a walk because of her apparent date issues. Be it Ali Abbas Zafar’s Gunday or Anurag's Bombay Velvet or Rakesh Roshan's Krrish 3 or Farah Khan’s Happy New Year, apparently she is the first choice for most filmmakers.
Taking a stand: She may yet have to find her own place in the Hindi film industry, but the actress from Kerala has worked on her own terms. Once she entered B-Town, she simply refused to sign any Southern projects. Even in Bollywood, she has only agreed to work in projects that feature names from the A-list league.
There are instances from the last century too where Bollywood actress took a stand and did things their way without worrying about the consequences…
Waheeda Rehman had a hit in Raj Khosla’s Solva Saal (1958) but due to some disagreements, she swore never to work with one of the most successful filmmakers in Hindi cinema. And she stuck to her words.
Jaya Bachchan (then Bhaduri) was known for charging quite a high price for signing films. Going by the rumours running wild, she wouldn’t budge and work with those banners alone that matched her asking fee without a bargain.
Sharmila Tagore earned Raj Kapoor’s ire when she declined to work in Mera Naam Joker. Reason: She wouldn’t antagonise smaller filmmakers of the era for just one project that would eventually take six years to complete.