There was a time when no young actress dared to accept the role of a mother. Not anymore if it’s a strong and well defined role.
For instance, the young actress Keerthy Suresh, we learn, had not batted an eyelid before agreeing to play a young mother in her recent release Penguin.
According to people close to Keerthy as well as her colleagues, the actress didn’t want to pass the role given how it seemed to test her acting skills.
Eashwar Karthic, who directed Penguin, remembers how Keerthy gave her nod to be a part of the film in no time. “She was impressed with the storyline,” he points out.
Actress Priyamani, who has also essayed a mum’s role (in the acclaimed web series called Family Man), tells us how she strongly believes that typecasting is merely a myth. “Earlier, actresses perhaps had some doubts about being labelled as onscreen mothers and so shied away from it. However, times have changed now,” she says.
Then, talking about her experiences while working on Family Man, she adds, “It all boils down to a well-written role, and I had no apprehensions while portraying. It doesn’t mean I am open to all kinds of mother roles; rather, I like a good mix of roles.”
Not everyone is game
Playing an onscreen mother still comes with a pinch of salt for most actresses. Therefore, not all filmmakers have had it easy getting actresses to step in for the maternal roles.
Producer S. Naga Vamsi, for instance, had to put in a lot of effort to convince Shraddha Srinath to play Nani’s wife in the blockbuster Jersey.
“She didn’t want to begin her T-town career playing the mother of a ten-year-old,” reveals Naga.
“In fact, it took lot of time for us to bring her on board. We also approached two other young heroines, but they were even more reluctant. Sharddha finally relented. Of course, her performance received appreciation, and the rest is history.”
So also, while many new-age divas are in the new game, some of the 30-plus heroines today, such as Kajal, Tamannaah, Anushka and Trisha, still seem to prefer playing lover girls and dancing around trees with their heroes.
“I can’t talk about others because it is an individual’s choice to do a particular role. For an actor, age is just a number, and it is unfair to fix roles based on their date-of-birth certificates,” argues 30-plus Priyamani.
Summing up the trend of actresses essaying mum roles in addition to playing roles befitting their 25-plus age, producer Priyanka Dutt gives the example of Keerthy Suresh in Mahanati.
“She was fascinated about playing the role of legendary Savitri on screen. Unmindful of her age, she took up the challenge of portraying varied shades, which traverses from 15 to 45 years.”
Then talking about how she thinks ‘image trap’ is just a misconception, Priyanka points out how after playing a mother in Mahanati, Keerthy also received praise as a young lover girl in Sarkar.
“Honestly, I believe new-age divas like to portray divergent roles along with their usual stuff to offer some variety to their fans and viewers as well,” adds Priyanka....