What do Kajol, Sridevi, Amala Akkineni and several of their contemporaries have in common? They all had great careers before taking a sabbatical and, most importantly, made amazing comebacks.
After leaving the industry — for motherhood, other careers or even wanting to retire — these actresses couldn’t resist the lure to return to the big screen.
However, with so much competition from the younger generation and in an industry that changes drastically, they had to find their footing once again.
Interestingly, their second innings have given them the option of working in films that they actually want to, not just projects that rake in the moolah.
Amala Akkineni recently returned to the Malayalam film industry after 26 years, with her film C/O Saira Banu. In a previous interview, the actress said, “At this point in my life, the roles should be something that I would not only enjoy but also something that would make a difference.” Which explains why she doesn’t take up several films in one year.
When Sridevi came back to the film industry with English Vinglish, years had gone by, but she chose her cards well, selecting the right script and a role that let her really act.
Veteran actress Revathy, who last played Mahesh Babu’s mother in Brahmotsavam, is also back in the Tamil film industry after a long gap. “I only accept roles that give me satisfaction, even if I have only two scenes. After a gap of five years, I returned to Tamil cinema with Amma Kanakku last year. Now, I am back in another film where I have a small segment to perform. I loved the subject and the role and couldn’t say no,” she says.
Today’s scripts are a welcome change too. Sonali Bendre, one of the top actresses in the 90s says, “One of the biggest pulls to a film is that I get to play my age and play roles that I have not done earlier. I like the changes that have taken place in plot-lines recently. There are more and more interesting roles and different kind of films being written every day.”
Echoing Sonali’s thoughts is Pooja Bhatt, who will be acting again in a mini-series soon. “By 24, I produced films which gave me far more recognition than being in front of the camera. But, I am now making my acting comeback because I believe ‘once an actor, always an actor’. What attracted me to the role in the upcoming mini-series is that it’s very real. I believe it’s high time we show real women on screen,” says Pooja.