Konkona Sensharma in a chat with mid-day says women-centric stories catch people’s fancies only before the actresses have children
The handful of big-ticket films that Konkona Sensharma has headlined, including ‘Wake Up Sid’ (2009), alongside Ranbir Kapoor, and ‘Luck By Chance’ (2009), featuring Farhan Akhtar, are testimony to the fact that she can pull off films that see her in the lead. Yet, her appearances in roles that command a similar screen time have been far and few.’
“The roles eventually dried up,” says Sensharma, citing that the industry is unwelcoming to women in their 30s, especially towards those who decide to conceive. “I didn’t get as many interesting roles as I used to. ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ (2013) was fun and negative, but I stopped getting such offers. None of the leading ladies have children. I feel women-centric stories catch people’s fancies only before the actresses have children. Are they becoming redundant after that? Once they become mothers, are their stories uninteresting?” the actor, 37, says, adding that such a distinction doesn’t occur for the men in the industry.
“We hold women to impossible standards. Things that are permissible for male actors are not for the women in cinema.” Given the manner in which people celebrated Kareena Kapoor Khan’s appearances while she was pregnant, even upholding her as a style icon for expectant mothers, one might suggest that the industry is willing to change its perception. But Sensharma points out that actress- mothers rarely topline films. “Movies don’t always mirror society.”
Konkona Sensharma is now gearing up for the release of her next, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. She admits that though she never intended to be an actor, being the daughter of actress-filmmaker Aparna Sen did give her an edge in Bollywood. “My mother is respected and successful, which makes me come from a place of privilege. I never faced the challenges that women usually do. Yet, the journey to making my first film was far from easy.”