Shefali Shah, who played Akshay Kumar’s mother in Waqt, says: ‘I don’t want to play 40-year-old mother anymore’ | Bollywood
Actress Shefali Shah is one of the few actresses to play leading roles in movies and shows in her 40s. But the trip here has not been smooth for the actor. She often played a mother to actors her own age or even older than her, until a few years ago. In a recent interview, Shefali said that while she had no objections to other actors wanting to do the same thing, she wouldn’t do it again. (Read also : Shefali Shah opens up about playing Akshay Kumar’s mother in Waqt in her twenties; “I did not see the big problem”)
In the 2005 film Waqt: The Race Against Time, Shefali played Akshay Kumar’s mother, who is five years older than her. At the time, Shefali was 32 while Akshay was 37. She also played the mother of Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh, who are only a few years younger than her.
Speaking to The Times of India, she said: “If the actors choose to play these roles, who are we to comment? I found it difficult to play a mother or a supporting role as long as it is a character in its own right. My question is why define a character simply on the basis of his relationship with the protagonists. In the past, I played the mother of someone much older than me. But at this point, I mean, look, I don’t want to look younger than my age. I have kids who are 18 and 19, so I’m comfortable playing a character like that. But I don’t want to play the mother of 25, 30 or 40 anymore.”
The actor also said that the industry is seeing a change in that secondary characters are more fleshed out these days, which wasn’t the case before. “The change is happening. Previously when we had storytelling, there was a hero and a heroine and in some way we were all related to them. You could be a mother, a chachi (aunt), a sister or a friend. They didn’t have individual characters in their own right. Plus, it was all very age-related. Now that’s changing. With the arrival of OTT, some of the best shows have been directed by women, internationally. These female characters are complex, deep and nuanced. And most importantly, they are age-appropriate roles,” she said.
In a recent chat with Pinkvilla, Shefali defended taking on the role of Waqt: “I believe that as an actor, the joy of being an actor is that you play roles that you are not. It could be caste, creed, color, gender, and age falls in the same bracket. So I didn’t see what was serious. I mean that was the exciting part, being someone. ‘one that I am not,’ she said.
Shefali will next be seen in the movie Jalsa, which also stars Vidya Balan. The story revolves around the murder of a young girl and a news channel investigating it. While Shefali Shah plays the victim’s mother who refuses to give up on her daughter, Vidya plays a journalist who delves into the story. Directed by Suresh Triveni, Jalsa will premiere on Amazon Prime on March 18.