Bollywood actress had to go through a lot to climb up the ladder to become a successful artist in the industry. Actresses were expected to adhere to certain unhealthy standards of beauty like being skinny, fair-skinned and eternally youthful. The film industry shunned them if they don’t fit into the mould.
Several Bollywood actresses have spoken about losing roles in movies because of the way they looked. Here are some of them.
Radhika Apte, who has appeared in critically acclaimed films like Badlapur, Hunterrr, Manjhi – The Mountain Man, Phobia, Parched and many others, was rejected for Yami Gautam’s part in Vicky Donor. The makers cited that she rejected due to her overweight. She even spoke about it during a conversation with India Today. The actress said, “I had gone on a holiday for a month, drank a lot of beer, ate loads of food. I told them that I’ll come back and lose it. But they did not want to take a chance. I don’t get affected by rejection at work, but the weight thing really messed with my head.”
Konkona Sen Sharma
Two-time National Award-winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma also had to put up with the pressure to look a certain way can be overwhelming. During a conversation with a leading daily, the beauty said that wasn’t comfortable in acting till her third film. However, gradually things changed for her.
Anushka Sharma is one of the most successful actresses in Bollywood. The actress on several occassion spoke about the criticism she has faced for not being ‘good-looking enough.’ She said that she had faced rejection since the age of 15. Even while casting for her debut film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Yashraj Films honcho told her that she wasn’t very good-looking but was being given the role because of her talent.
Nandita Das is one of the critically acclaimed actresses in the Indian film industry. She has appeared in nearly 40 feature films in ten different languages, but even she had to face rejection due to her dusky skin tone. The actress spoke about the kind of roles she is repeatedly offered. She has been quite vocal about how she hates the colourism in Bollywood and is even a part of the Dark Is Beautiful campaign.
Following her debut in Telugu films, Taapsee Pannu had to face rejections in Bollywood for various reasons. During a conversation with Hindustan Times, the actress said, “I was told, ‘You are not beautiful and glamorous enough’, ‘Oh no, you’re too serious an actor’… ‘You’re not good enough an actor’, ‘You are not so and so’s daughter’. I was even told, ‘You are not a big marketable name.'”