Actresses-turned producers yet to taste success

Published: 30 November, 2011 08:42 IST | Shaheen Parkar |

Ambitious actresses in a bid to compete with their male counterparts produced their own films, but each of them failed miserably

Ambitious actresses in a bid to compete with their male counterparts produced their own films, but each of them failed miserably

There's something about turning producer for an actress. That desire to be in the league of her male counterparts, the need to call the shots and to be in the know of the entire filmmaking process.

Lara Dutta

A good camouflage instead of stating about her short shelf life, the refusal to play character roles or the total lack of offers coming her way.

Whatever their reasons of making the big switch, success largely eludes an actress-turned-producer.
Though it is not exactly a new phenomenon for a female star to don the producer's hat, nowadays more and more actresses are taking the plunge only to get a cold response at the box office.

Recently even starlets like Hrishitaa Bhatt (who produced Shakal Pe Mat Jaa) and Neetu Chandra (who produced the Bhojpuri film Deswa) have met the same fate.

Neetu Chandra

Earlier in the year, Lara Dutta offered Chalo Dilli that did not exactly take her anywhere while Dia Mirza had her share of Love Break Ups Zindagi at the box office.

Meanwhile Ameesha Patel and Preity Zinta have already announced their projects. So has Eesha Khoppikar with a sequel to her film Shabri. While Shilpa Shetty and Sushmita Sen have been planning for a while now.

Me, the star

Explains trade analyst Taran Adarsh, "Most actresses have a tendency to cast themselves in their projects as well. But what is of greater importance is the concept and the script."

Adds Adarsh, "It is a natural corollary for an actress nowadays to be involved in all aspects of the filmmaking process. That's the reason a lot of actresses are turning producers nowadays. But they have to give a lot more to what the film will be about and its appeal to the audience."

The reasons
For Shilpa, production means getting independence to make the kind of film she wants to make. Neetu roped in her brother Nitin to direct her project and also did an item number in it.

Hrishitaa Bhatt

She felt the need to make a film based on Indian traditions rather than copy ideas from Western flicks. Hrishita considers production as a gradual change as most actors at some point of time intend to get either into direction or production.
Dia had a story idea and along with beau Sahil Sangha and buddy Zayed Khan decided to make the film herself with her in the cast.

Ameesha has launched her production house along with her business partner Kuunal Goomer and on Dassera day, even opened an office. She has already roped in David Dhawan and Priyardarshan to direct films for her banner. Ameesha will also act in them!

A while back, even Katrina Kaif was so overwhelmed after watching a French film that she proclaimed she wanted to secure its rights and produce it herself!

Mindset change
Says a Bollywood insider, "What goes mainly against for the actress-turned-producer is when she casts herself in the movie. The audience already has a mindset about her and even when she turns producer it remains.

Dia Mirza

And even when they don't cast themselves, they have to take into consideration the audience's pulse. Moreover they often have family members or boyfriends helping them and then things do tend to go awry."

No push for Sush
Over four years ago, Sushmita Sen announced that she wanted to turn producer with a biopic on Rani Laxmibai. Later she decided to direct it as well. After conducting some extensive research with even the storyboard ready, the project was kept indefinitely on hold due to the logistics of making such a costume epic.

In the past
Raveena Tandon produced two films Pehchaan (2005) and Stumped (2003) - both proved to be duds at the box-office.

Manisha Koirala tried her hand at production with Paisa Vasool (2004), which too was a dud.

The exception
Pooja Bhatt in her earlier films like Tamanna (1997), Dushman (1998) and Zakhm (1998)faced some success.

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