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Delnaaz Irani pleads for work, says social media influencers are given more importance than actors with 30 years’ experience

Actor Delnaaz Irani said that she isn't being offered roles in major projects because of an influx of influencers, and the industry having become more structured with the arrival of casting directors.

Delnaaz Irani, Virgin Woman Diaries, Delnaaz Irani new photo, Delnaaz Irani photo, Delnaaz Irani Virgin Woman DiariesDelnaaz Irani is best known for Kal Ho Naa Ho.

Actor Delnaaz Irani said in a new interview that she wants to ‘take the Neena Gupta route’ and plead with film and television producers to cast her in projects. Best known for her supporting performance in the hit 2003 film Kal Ho Naa Ho, Delnaaz has appeared in several TV shows and reality series, but she hasn’t appeared in a major theatrical movie since 2011’s Ra.One.

While speaking with RJ Siddharth Kannan, Delnaaz suggested that the arrival of social media influencers, a lack of budget for the salaries of supporting cast members, and the increasing infuence of casting directors has resulted in actors of her generation falling off the radar.

She said in Hindi, “I’m no Neena Gupta, but maybe someone will watch this and something will work out.” She added that unlike most others, she didn’t sign with agencies and managers after gaining recognition with Kal Ho Naa Ho. “There used to be a connect directly with the directors and producers. Satish Kaushik saw Kal Ho Naa Ho and called me… These days, that connection has been lost. It’s more of going and struggling with the casting directors… This whole middle structure that is there, that is something I still need to figure out. It’s like, you have to go to their offices. There’s a lot of groupism, and camps.”

Ruing the arrival of social media influencers, she said, “My friends have told me that casting directors aren’t giving them work because they don’t have blue ticks on social media. These people have been a part of the industry for two decades, they’ve played leads.” She said that it hurts to see ‘overnight superstars’ succeed, while people who’ve worked for decades in the industry are left behind.

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Delnaaz has been appearing in television shows recently, trying to break out of her image as the bubbly best friend. But, she said, producers are unwilling to spend on supporting cast members these days. She said that some actors who are financially more stable can afford to sit back and turn down offers for some years, but ‘too much stubbornness is also not good,’ because then, there is a chance that you could become ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Some years ago, actor Neena Gupta famously tweeted asking for work, and she hasn’t looked back since.

First published on: 03-12-2022 at 15:02 IST
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