Fashion and film industries always look for fresh talent and beauties with stunning looks. However film industry always follows the sentiment that heroines career end once they get married. This comes as a shock even as heroes continue even after they become senior citizens.
This is not the case in Hollywood. But Indian film industry and Tollywood is yet to shed way its old mindset. Pawani Gangireddy, the 30 year old, who is a mother of a five year old and is expecting a baby featured in films like Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju, Jyo Achuthananda and Brahmotsavam and is playing the lead role in Rahul Ravindran’s Drushti.
However she says “When I was offered the lead role, I asked director Ram Abbaraju if the hero, Rahul Ravindran knew I was married. To which Rahul replied, ‘I am married too. Why will I have a problem?’ How sweet and sensible was that!”
The moment heroines get engaged, they face questions like whether she continues acting like in the case of Samantha. But this is not the case with the heroes. Anasuya Bharadwaj says “I don’t want to take names but several well-known film directors have told me, ‘You should have entered the industry earlier, Anasuya.’ When I asked them why, they said, ‘You are married now.’ I fail to understand why that should be a problem at all because for every artiste, private and professional lives are two different aspects. I am glad they are able to co-exist for me,”
Earlier when Amala Paul announced her wedding with AL.Vijay, filmmakers of Vasta Ne Venuka started looking for a replacement as they felt her marriage could affect the film’s prospects. So many stars like Anushka Shetty, Kajal Aggarwal, Tamannaah, Shruti Haasan and others are keen to stay single.
Earlier heroines like Savitri, Bhanumathi, Anjali Devi, Jamuna, Vijaya Nirmala and Sarada, among others played lead roles even after their marriage. Cultural Director of Telangana and film historian Mamidi Harikrishna says “In the past, female actresses were looked down upon as it was thought a profession of lower social strata. It was tough to so find women to act that men would dress up as them very often. That’s why even a married actress held a great deal of value. Of course, they were all talented too. But by the time Vanisree entered the industry, they also became fashion icons and desirable subjects with provocative sequences being filmed on them. That increased with every passing generation. Now, they aren’t just performers, but also objects of desire,”
Mahesh Katti says “Soon after a woman marries, the social stigma and moral boundaries of desiring a woman step in; you cannot lust after a married woman! In the initial days, this wasn’t the case because the heroine was the family girl while vamps were portrayed as the woman of desire. Today, the lead actress are both. That settles the equation,”
Hari Krishna explains “Actresses mostly dealt with the conservative mindset by keeping their marriages a secret. For instance, Gang Leader released after Vijayashanti’s secret wedding which no one was aware about. We have many more examples of actresses doing the same. People may disagree but historically, marriage has marked a full stop in the careers of actresses. It was only years later that they made a comeback playing mothers, sisters or other character roles,”
Tammareddy Bharadwaj shares “Marriage ends an actress’ career only if she isn’t talented and is an eye candy in all her films. For someone who is cast to titillate the youth it could spell doom. Otherwise, if you recall, Soundarya too went on to play female leads till the day she died, despite being married,”