- Taapsee Pannu issued a lengthy statement on Twitter defending her film
- "Do we ever want to embrace the positivity?" wrote Taapsee
- "Hamari umar ke role toh kamsekam humse kara lo," tweeted Neena Gupta
Actress Taapsee Pannu has defended being cast as a 60-plus character - Taapsee is 32 - in her new film Saand Ki Aankh after severe criticism; among the critics was Neena Gupta, who echoed popular sentiment by tweeting this morning: "Hamari umar ke role toh kamse kam humse kara lo bhai." Taapsee and Bhumi Pednekar, 30, play real-life 'shooter daadis' Prakashi and Chandro Tomar in Saand Ki Aankh and ever since the trailer released recently, the Internet has been asking why older actresses had been overlooked in favour of Taapsee and Bhumi. In a statement posted today, Taapsee Pannu advocated 'positivity' and invoked earlier casting examples in which actors have played characters much older or younger than their real age.
In her statement, Taapsee Pannu wrote, "Do we ever want to embrace the positivity or just keep liking all the negativity and glorifying it to save our lack of risk-taking tendencies?... Or is it just reserved for two females, who at relatively nascent stage of their carrier, venture out to do something which we were told most of the people turned down?"
Taapsee also reminded us that Bollywood has never been too bothered about age appropriate casting, having cast Anupam Kher, then in his 20s, as an elderly man in Saaransh, Nargis as Sunil Dutt's mother in Mother India, and 40something Aamir Khan as a college student in 3 Idiots. "Did we ask the same questions? Or these lovely allegations and questions are reserved only for us?" Taapsee wrote in her statement. Clearly, filmmakers have no intention of worrying about authenticity anytime soon.
Read Taapsee Pannu's entire statement here:
I hope and can only hope this will answer the question once n for all coz honestly now it's getting boring for us to repeat ourselves.— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) September 24, 2019
So all you lovely people here goes my RESPONSE -#SaandKiAankhpic.twitter.com/guldaTWaks
The Internet, meantime, has any number of alternate suggestions to play the roles of the Tomar sisters. "They should cast other actresses like Ratna Pathak or Neena Gupta," read one of the many tweets. "These roles were tailor made for actresses like Ratna Pathak, Supriya Pathak, Neena Gupta, Shabana Azmi, Jaya Bachchan," read another tweet. One user tweeted: "I want to see more stories about older women, played by older women," while another wrote: "We have so many good 50+ actresses who could've played both the roles better than Bhumi and Tapsee."
These roles were tailor made 4 actresses like Ratna Pathak,Supriya Pathak,Neena Gupta,Shabana Azmi,Jaya Bachhan.don't understand why u don't give roles to the older actresses n make young actresses do cringy acting of old age? Old actors ko to role dete ho. #SaandKiAankhTrailer— projapoti (@Zuk68953953) September 24, 2019
Nothing against #taapseepannu and #BhumiPednekar, both great actresses but couldn't they have cast anyone from Surekha Sikri, Neena Gupta, Shabana Azmi, Deepti Naval, Ratna Pathak Shah, Supriya Pathak, Dimple Kapadia, Supriya Pilgaonkar as the Shooter Dadis instead #SaandKiAankh— Tanisha G (@TwinMomTravels) September 23, 2019
Thank God people are talking about this. This is not at all a personal attack on Taapsee or Bhumi, but it needed to be said. I want to see more stories about older women, played by older women. Stop casting them only as hero/heroines' mom. I will put my money where my mouth is.— shaily rohini (@shellstuffy) September 24, 2019
I thought there is a younger version of the story in Saand Ki Aankh. If the story is only about older women why didn't they cast the actresses of the same age. We have so many good 50+ actresses who could've played both the roles better than Bhumi and Tapsee.— Rajeev (@AttitudeKnight) September 23, 2019
Neena Gupta, 60, whose performance as a middle-aged housewife who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant in Badhaai Ho was critically acclaimed, agrees. Replying to a tweet that said "I love Bhumi and Taapsee but I kinda wish older actors were cast in these roles. Could you imagine Neena Gupta, Shabana Azmi or Jaya Bachchan?", the Mulk actress wrote: "Yes I was just thinking about this. Hamari umar ke role toh kam se kam humse kara lo bhai."
Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toe kamsekam humse kara lo bhai https://t.co/6Fmrxn0HbE— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) September 24, 2019
However, Neena Gupta holds no grudges. After Taapsee Pannu posted her statement, the senior actress tweeted: "I liked the trailer and I have great respect for both the actors - Bhumi and Taapsee. Chalo, lets wish the film good luck also to Anurag Kashyap who I am very fond of. Chalo, apna time ayega." Taapsee was one of the first ones to thank Neena Gupta for sharing her first impression of the film.
I liked the trailer, #SaandKiAankh and I have great respect for both the actors @bhumipednekar@taapsee chalo lets wish the film good luck also to #AnuragKashyap who I am very fond of, chalo apna time ayega— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) September 24, 2019
Neena Gupta once said in an interview to IANS, "In Indian families, an older woman is a useless woman. The same way older actresses hardly have any role. It is a mirror image of society. I don't expect much from acting at this age." In 2017, she adorably asked for work on Instagram.
Just the other day I was telling someone .. how I am never afraid/ shy to ask for work. Its obviously genetic. My mother put up this post on her instagram today. I mean,my 62yr old national award winning mother. She told me I must always work .. no matter what .. it keeps you from getting old...she told me they don't write for women her age anymore ... I don't think anyone can replicate what she did for TV anymore.. she complains that she can't do PR .. but says 'I do good work,that's my PR'.. time and again we've spoken about how whatever she asks for ... in due time ,she gets... But that's the magic of a pure heart. The universe just can't refuse you... the only advice I have the guts to give her is.. don't work with anyone who won't respect you ,at this age , that's the bare minimum & it's a strange strange industry she's in... the advice she gives me in return is..'whatever you do,free ka PR mat khaana,your only someone's kid/wife/niece/sister for this long. Prove yourself. WORK. Walk the talk & fly @neena_gupta #neenaji
Saand Ki Aankh, which releases on October 25, tracks the story of sisters Prakashi and Chandro Tomar , two village women from Uttar Pradesh's Johri, who went on to win over 700 medals and are credited with having helped change the social scenario for women in Uttar Pradesh with their achievements. Prakashi Tomar and Chandro Tomar are now in their 80s.
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