Shefali Shah Reveals She Played Akshay Kumar’s Mother When She Was 28 & He Was 38

In mainstream cinema, younger female actors being cast alongside much older male actors has been the norm. While women are offered only the roles of mothers and aunts after a certain age, men continue to play the role of heroes even in their 50s. Recently, the film ‘Prithviraj’ faced backlash online after 24-year-old Manushi Chhillar was cast alongside 54-year-old Akshay Kumar.

‘Delhi Crime’ actor Shefali Shah recently opened up about this issue. She also revealed that she played the role of Akshay Kumar’s mother in the film ‘Waqt’ when she was only 28 and he was 38.

 

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Speaking to The Indian Express, she said:

“I played age very early. I played Akshay Kumar’s mother when I was around 28. I got Hasratein when I was 20 and played a 30-35-year-old in it. After a point, I decided if I’m not getting the work that really drives me crazy, I will sit at home. I reached this peace that such kind of work won’t come every day. And the few films I did raise that bar. I’ve said no to work even if it meant sitting at home for two years not doing anything.”

Shefali further expressed her opinion on the glaring disparity between the roles offered to women and those to men.


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“There was an 18-22 window of age. After that, they didn’t know what to do with the women. They either became accessories or were just a wall in the background. I’ve been working since I was 16. But my professional life changed by the time I reached my 40s. In fact, it changed in the last two years after Delhi Crime.”

 

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Actors like Shefali Shah and Neena Gupta have proved to the industry that female actors don’t come with an ‘expiry date’. It is the filmmakers’ responsibility to look at female actors as human and not just accessories that shine in the background of the hero. The industry needs to produce a diverse set of roles for women and tell stories that are real.

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