Filmmaker R. Balki, who has worked with actresses like Tabu and Vidya Balan, says there are fewer writers in the industry who keep women aged over 35 or 40 in their mind.
He has worked with actresses of different age groups and is open to teaming up with those who are not in their 20s, but says there is a limitation when it comes to writers.
“It’s not about limited roles (for women aged over 35 in the film industry). There are limited writers,” Balki said at The Beauty Debate powered by Dove on ‘Evolving ideals of beauty in India’ at the Women in the World India Summit here on Friday.
“Take Sridevi as an example. She got the best role at the age of 50,” he added giving reference to the actress’ role in his wife and filmmaker Gauri Shinde’s 2012 hit film “English Vinglish”.
He said so after popular model Lakshmi Menon, who was also one of the panelists along with Balki, costume designer-stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania and actress Soha Ali Khan, pointed out that while Bollywood actresses in their mid-30s or 40s are being offered roles of a mother, male superstars like 50-year-old Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan are still playing the lead in movies.
Soha also believes that the standard of beauty for women is “higher” than for men.
Menon feels that in India beauty is being “controlled by a bunch of people” and that it shouldn’t be dictated by anybody.
“We must explore diversity in beauty. I keep saying that, but I don’t see it happening. Be it TV commercials or magazine advertisements, you get to see the same people. For instance, (actress) Deepika Padukone can be seen in five different things at the same time. Is she the only beautiful woman in India?,” she said.
Talking about having Bollywood stars on the covers of leading magazines, Adajania said: “India is a unique country. We don’t have the supermodel culture here. We had that in the early 1990s. So, now we have Bollywood celebrities are looked up to as style icons. But we do feature models as well as women in their 40s.”