Once a ‘National Film Award’ winner, B-town veteran Neena Gupta had to face difficulties in making her way back to Bollywood due to lack of work. Hence, in 2017, Neena made headlines when she took to social media asking for work. And a year later she made a comeback to the silver screen with Amit Sharma’s comedy-drama ‘Badhaai Ho’.
She was then bestowed with many accolades for her performance as a middle-aged pregnant mother in the movie opposite Ayushmann Khurana as her son. And at the age of 60, she became the second-eldest ‘Best Actress nominee in Filmfare Award’ history after ace actress Sharmila Tagore.
‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’ actress Neena has never shied away from speaking about her personal life. She often talks about raising her child, Masaba Gupta, being a single mother. Masaba, who is now a celebrated fashion designer, is the love child of Neena and former West Indies cricketer Vivian Richards.
Recently, Neena spoke about raising Masaba. She credited her father for helping her in her ‘most crucial time’ to raise her child. NDTV quoted her saying:
“My father played a very important role in raising my daughter. He especially shifted to Mumbai to help me. I cannot express how thankful I am to him. He was my backbone during the most crucial time of my life.”
Neena said so after she was moved by a contestant’s performance on a singing reality show who was also raised by a single parent, reported News18. “I don’t know what to say after such a marvellous performance and I feel so lucky to watch such a great performer live,” she said to the contestant.
In an earlier interview to Business Standard, Neena had said that she was stereotyped and was offered only negative roles in the early days of her career given her public image and personal life.
“I suffered as an actress because of my public image. So I think it is important to maintain a certain image in the public eye to get roles in cinema. The society has not changed even today and that is why I want to tell all the aspiring actresses especially, do not be very candid at your professional space. I really suffered,” she added. She went on to say:
“I had a child out of wedlock and that proved me as a strong-headed woman which I am; but back then, a strong woman can only play a vamp!”
“So I ended up playing mostly negative roles in films. Girls, if you want to smoke, do not smoke in public or do not be physically friendly to a male friend also. All these are perceived as a sign of strong, liberated, independent woman… that might just offer you a certain type of role,” she said.
In one of her recent interviews with Mumbai Mirror, Neena was asked, what is the one decision she would rethink about if she could go back in time? To which she responded, “I would not have a child outside marriage. A child needs both parents. I have always been honest with Masaba so it did not affect my relationship with her. But I know that she always suffered for not having her father with her.”
Neena is currently married to New Delhi-based chartered accountant Vivek Mehra. She was last seen in movies like ‘Panga’ and ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’. She also has a cameo appearance in Kapil Dev’s 83 and will be next seen in Rohit Shetty’s film Sooryavanshi.