Actor Farida Jalal is one of the veterans of the Hindi film industry. She had taken part in the talent hunt contest along with Rajesh Khanna in 1965 and has been part of some of the most iconic films such as Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Aradhana and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to name a few. Now, in an interview, she has spoken about a whole range of issues.
Ever since fellow actor Neena Gupta spoke about senior female actors being sidelined by the industry, number of others have spoken about it. Farida also added how male counterparts like Anupam Kher and Paresh Rawal still get to play a variety of roles, while women are forced to play mother roles.
She was quoted in Times of India: “Look at the male counterparts- Anupam Kher, Om Puri and Paresh Rawal. They were cast opposite me. And now look at the fact that they have got to do a villain’s role, comedian’s role, lawyer’s role, doctor’s role. And their body language was so different in all. What haven’t they done? But what about the women? Why aren’t we given those opportunities?”
Having said that, she still loves the industry, which has been rocked a number of controversies such as the ongoing drugs issue. She was quoted as saying: “I am in a happy space. I am happy that I have been around for so long. I love my life. I love my film industry. I hate what’s going on at this moment. I don’t want to get there but it hurts deeply because I am in love with my profession. Creative people are much better off in the rest of the world.”
Many people think Farida Jalal only in mother and sister roles. But she did a romantic role opposite Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana and did nurse the idea of being a film heroine. Speaking about it, she said: “Before ‘Aaradhna’, I had done Rajshri Productions’ ‘Taqdeer’ (1967). The Rajshri guys are from a different planet. They give you so much respect; everything in that company is something else. Aaradhna was my second film. Auditions un dinno mein hote hi nahi the. There were so many girls vying for the role. But when I finally was happy that I had got the role, let me tell you that I was nervous about romancing on screen. In that romantic song in ‘Aaradhna’ with Rajesh Khanna ji ‘Baago mein bahaar hai’ where I come out as a very coy girl, I wasn’t putting on any act. I was actually feeling very shy. So to answer your question, yes I did nurse that thought. But it didn’t happen.”
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Among one of the more memorable films she has gone is Mammo with Shyam Benegal. She mentioned that the makers had told her that they had Waheeda Rehman on their mind. “I was told by Shyam Benegal ji and Khalid Mohamed (writer of ‘Mammo’) that they had Waheeda Rehman ji in mind for the ‘Mammo’ role.”
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