Updated: April 8, 2020 10:04:11 pm
Despite a quintessential Bollywood debut in Saudagar in 1991, Manisha Koirala went on to challenge stereotypes attached to a female actor with her choices in the form of Bombay, Dil Se, Khamoshi and many more. Even within the structure of commercial cinema, the actor relied on her craft to bring novelty and substance to the otherwise run-of-the-mill characters.
So, it disappoints her when she sees contemporary actors gaining stardom out of something as flimsy as airport looks. “Rather than making an instant star out of airport looks, we should have stars who can perform well. We should have stars who we can can look up to on the celluloid. I want to see that change. I don’t want instant stars but I want to see stars who can back it up with talent, hard work, focus and dedication,” Manisha told indianexpress.com in an interview.
The actor warned that such popularity cannot sustain itself for long. “It’s a very superficial success. I feel sad for the person who has got that instant success. Firstly, it’s not gratifying because it doesn’t have depth and substance. Secondly, you can get really glamourised but tomorrow it will be all gone,” she added.
Recently seen in Netflix drama Maska, Manisha Koirala said it has taken her a lot of great opportunities and relentless passion for acting to defy the norms of longevity given for female actors in cinema.
“When I was doing a film called Lajja, it only had women and it was about what happens to women across classes in a society. So, I have been a part of some really amazing stories that a male director has thought of. There, I have been blessed,” she said, adding that a reason she finds the Hindi entertainment industry exciting today is the emergence of many female writers and directors.
“I see a lot of female writers and directors that are coming forward and that’s a huge thing because automatically the focus would be on what a woman is going through. Whether it’s sexuality, it’s not only about making her look lusty but a woman owning up to her sexuality, the power. So whatever the story is, if we have more women writers and filmmakers, automatically the focus goes on to the women and that’s what I am seeing is slowly happening.
“Be it Zoya (Akhtar), who is telling beautiful stories about women, or Alankrita (Shrivastava) in her own way. So, we have this powerhouse of writers and directors. That’s a huge leap,” Manisha said.
The actor, who received praise for her work in Netflix’s Lust Stories, however, added that the change is faster on the web than on the big screen, where she was last seen in Sanjay Dutt-starrer Prassthanam. “What is happening in OTT platforms – women getting good chances, equal pay or the content – it should also be seen in mainstream cinema.”
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