Saand Ki Aankh producer: Most senior actors refused the role as they didn't want to be seen de-glam
After Saand Ki Aankh team faces flak for casting Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar to play 60-year-olds, producer, without naming names, claims several senior actors turned down Shooter Dadis' roles
When the first look of Saand Ki Aankh was released earlier this month, netizens criticised the makers for roping in Taapsee Pannu, 31, and Bhumi Pednekar, 29, to play the country's oldest women sharpshooters, 60-year-olds Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. In an industry where roles are unfortunately hard to come by for senior female artistes, detractors opined that the Anurag Kashyap-production should have stayed true to the story and cast age-appropriate actors.
Taking the critique head-on, co-producer Nidhi Parmar claims that the team had approached almost 15 senior actors for the role, before tapping the younger bracket. "We approached actors in the age bracket of 55 to 60 since we felt the portrayals would be more convincing. However, most declined the role as they didn't want to be seen in an unglamorous avatar, or felt that they weren't ready for the physical preparation that the film demanded," she says, refusing to name names. "Even younger actresses had the same concerns. Bhumi and Taapsee have shown a great deal of pluck in essaying a role that's almost twice their actual age."
On her part, Pannu says that it takes gumption to age on-screen, especially since Bollywood is obsessed with the idea of young-is-beautiful. "I have played a college kid after turning 30, and no one questioned me then. Instead of making an issue, people should be surprised that we took up these roles, as there are few actors who take the risk of ageing on screen unapologetically."
Pednekar echoes the sentiment, stating that no part should be off-limits for artistes. "In the past, people have played characters older than their age successfully. Anupam Kher in Saaransh (1984) and Nargis ji in Mother India (1957) are great examples. If we can play characters younger than our age, why can't we play older characters as well?"
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