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When age is not just a number

Updated on: 28 October,2023 07:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Priyanka Sharma |

Ila Arun, who plays a meaty role in Sushmita-led Aarya 3, hopes that senior artistes are cast for aged characters instead of younger actors

When age is not just a number

Sushmita Sen in Aarya 3

It’s difficult for an actor to be surprised by scripts after a four-decade career in the movies. But life has a way of springing pleasant surprises. For Ila Arun, the third season of Aarya was just that. “Director Ram Madhvani was searching for an actor who could represent the royalty of Rajasthan. I had portrayed a modern-day queen in a play before. So, I think Ram trusted my theatre experience too,” she smiles.

Collaborating with Sushmita Sen only added to the joy of being part of the Disney+ Hotstar series. Arun is all praise for the leading lady. “She is our Miss Universe. That’s a stature no one can take away from her. Then, she did well in movies and made a crackling debut on OTT. She is tall not only physically, but also in her approach to work.”

From Shyam Benegal’s Mandi (1983) to Amit Masurkar’s Sherni (2021), Arun has starred in powerful movies, choosing roles that creatively satisfy her. Over the decades, she has seen the industry going through several changes, most notable being the empowerment of female actors. “Today, strong female characters are being written. I have the highest respect for Vidya Balan, who has done unconventional roles and challenged [male stars]. Shabana [Azmi] is another example. She is my role model.” 

And yet, there is one change she awaits—of senior actors getting deserving opportunities. “Films have roles of mothers, widows and teachers. It would be better to cast women belonging to that age [bracket], who are talented and physically fit, than make young women play them by sporting grey hair.”

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