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Ready to experiment, dynamics of showbiz is changing: Amrita Rao

Amrita Rao is returning to films with ‘Thackeray’ and the actor believes that she is ready to experiment as the dynamics of showbiz is changing. The actor who became the epitome of ‘the girl-next-door’ in early 2000s with films such as ‘Ishq Vishq’, ‘Main Hoon Na’ and ‘Vivah’, however, her last cinematic outing was 2013’s “Satyagraha” and she did musical drama ‘Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai’ for the small screen three years later. Rao said that she turned down many big Bollywood projects as they did not meet her selection criteria.

It has been a journey of sacrificing big films because I was not comfortable with the on-screen requirements. Trends change, on-screen demand of actresses change. Cinema is a slice of reality. You have school and college kids being intimate and marriage is not even in question and that is what they show in cinema. That kind of requirement of the character did not suit me. So I had to let go of those big offers with a heavy heart. The directors respected me and understood that I had certain restrictions which were sacred to me, she told reporters in an interview.

The actor plays Meena Thackeray, wife to late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray (portrayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) in the film. She said that the makers approached her to play the role as they believed that both the women have a “pure” image. I have earned that image in the industry, playing a mature role was challenging for me. I have played the girl-next-door and then to portray this part, where my character spans from a 28-year-old to a 60-year-old, was not easy.

In 2016, the actor tied the knot with radio jockey Anmol and focused on her personal life. Rao also said that she had hinted at the hiatus before implementing it. I was not making presence anywhere. There are some actors who surrender themselves to the industry. I have always been a family person. However, in a comment on India’s #MeToo tsunami that has crossed the boundaries of the film industry since last September, the actor said that the influential people would try to get their way but “accepting it or not” will always be a choice. It is unfortunate when I hear about the #MeToo cases. There are girls and guys here who are ready to grab opportunities at any cost. People should respect themselves and their values. She further added that she was “blessed” to never experience harassment. However, she believes that it was because she became a star early on in her career despite being an outsider.

I had a wonderful entry into films without being a star kid. And you can’t plan such things. My journey has been different. I arrived and I became a star so everybody was on their best behaviour with me. I have stuck to my personality; I have not done anything that is out of my personal zone. And now Rao wants to be part of something edgy as discussions are on. I want to do something that I have not done before like a thriller, murder mystery or suspense film. I would love to play a negative role due to digitalisation, work opportunities and avenues have changed so much. Directors typecasting actors is passé.

 

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