Married women actors are equally desirable now in films: Renuka Shahane
The actor opens up about her comeback film 3 Storeys and the postive changes in the film industry
Renuka Shahane, who is gearing up for her Bollywood comeback with 3 Storeys, has been trying to break free of her image as 'Pooja bhabhi' from Hum Aapke Hain Koun. The actor says the changing age demographics of women in Indian cinema is a progressive sign.
"There is a positive change and I appreciate that. I think now our films are going in the right direction. I am happy to observe how married women are equally desirable now, unlike earlier days," says Renuka.
"Whether it is Anushka Sharma, Kareena Kapoor Khan or Rani Mukerji, they are all resuming work after their marriage and pregnancy. Good roles are written for a woman of our age. There are various phases of our life and all of them are explored on-screen now," she says, making a special mention of Vidya Balan.
"Vidya is making a huge difference with her roles. She is playing her age, but with so much variety, and that should be celebrated," she says, adding that it is time for television show makers also to get the direction right.
On the big screen, she is making a comeback with 3 Storeys after 15 years. Asked what made her choose 3 Storeys as her comeback vehicle, Renuka says, "I always wanted a role that will challenge me as a performer, a character that is the opposite of who I am, a character that will push me enough to bring out the best in me. After a certain point of time, I was getting roles where my characters had good presence on-screen, but were not challenging for me as a performer. At this stage of my career, only screen presence cannot satisfy me."
Renuka feels her role as the loving, polite and ever-smiling Pooja in Hum Aapke Hain Koun trapped her in a way. "That image was so stuck in the memory of the mass audience that, most of the time, people expected me to behave like Pooja bhabhi. The fact is I am a different individual in real life."
In 3 Storeys, she essays the role of a middle-aged grey-haired Catholic woman named Flory, who is waiting for someone.
The actor says the team -- including Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, and Sharman Joshi -- underwent extensive workshops. "However, on the first day of the shoot, as the camera rolled, I felt a little nervous, which for me is a natural thing. With each scene, we actors are creating the world of the characters we play, so yes, I was a little conscious."
Directed by Arjun Mukherjee and produced by Excel Entertainment, 3 Storeys will be released this Friday.