Onir: Male actors are still insecure about playing homosexual charactershttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/onir-male-actors-insecure-homosexual-characters-5626950/

Onir: Male actors are still insecure about playing homosexual characters

Filmmaker Onir feels a film with LGBTQ characters can get a mainstream release.

Onir on making LGBTQ films in Bollywood
Director Onir attended FICCI Frames 2019.

Filmmaker Onir on Thursday shared that big names in Bollywood are still apprehensive about playing a homosexual man in a mainstream film. The My Brother Nikhil director was speaking at FICCI Frames 2019.

The filmmaker shared, “I really feel that a film with LGBTQ characters can get a mainstream release. But there are some really good actors especially men who are still insecure about playing homosexual characters. I have had many narrations with these mainstream male actors and they refused it. While they are not direct about it, you kind of sense a wall. The fear of what it can become still holds them back. And this is why I really have a lot of respect for all those actors who say yes to these roles.”

Writer Gazal Dhaliwal added, “I know it is commerce at the end of the day. But I would really appeal to all the A-list male actors to take up a homosexual role. I understand that the masculine ego is really fragile but for once just leave that aside. Take the challenge and enjoy this new character.”

The discussion titled ‘Celebrating rainbow: The seven shades of content’ also had filmmakers Sridhar Rangyan, Hansal Mehta, and actor Shabana Azmi on the panel. It was moderated by journalist Priyanka Sinha Jha.

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The panellists spoke about the changes the industry is seeing in the portrayal of LGBTQ characters. Onir, who has helmed acclaimed films like I Am, Shab, Bas Ek Pal among others, spoke about how he is legally empowered after the court’s decision to decriminalise homosexuality.

Onir said, “I remember I was once asked to cut 21 minutes off a 24-minute short film that I had made. But if something like this happens now, I can at least fight legally. It is actually strange that we are going backwards for I remember My Brother Nikhil was cleared with a U certification.”