Art & Entertainment

Shefali Shah: Ageism Was Very Prominent In Our Industry, But Things Are Changing For Sure

‘Human’ actress Shefali Shah speaks up about the age old debate of actresses not getting roles after a certain age. Are things changing? How? The ‘Delhi Crime’ actress opens up.

Shefali Shah
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Actress Shefali Shah has been winning praises for her performance in the web show ‘Human’. Prior to this, her web show ‘Delhi Crime’, went on to become massively successful and changed completely the way filmmakers looked at her. She has always been someone who has never shied away from speaking her heart out.

Talking about the age-old ageism debate in Bollywood where actresses don’t get good roles after a certain age, Shah says, “Yes, ageism was very prominent in our industry and I can’t give a better example than myself. Earlier people didn’t know where to cast me because I played the role of a mother at a very early age and I was looking old, and unfortunately, earlier actresses had a very short shelf life of 18-22 years old, but it has changed drastically for me,” says Shah.

As her career completely changed after she did ‘Delhi Crime’, she adds, “‘Delhi Crime’ being the turning point for me. I am getting more age-appropriate roles. I am now getting more lead characters and people are writing stuff for me and it is really great. So, I would say it (ageism) was there earlier but it has changed. In fact, if you go back and see there have been films like ‘Aradhana’, ‘Mamta’ or so many other movies where the women ruled it and then came the phase where the women were considered only an accessory in the film, but it is changing for sure.”

But does she still feel a constant urge to please everyone, which every Indian girl complains about when they’re younger? “Yes, when you are younger you have this need to please everyone and to do stuff that makes everyone happy or fall into what they expect of you but the time one reaches their 40’s, you stop caring and you actually start figuring out that cooking the perfect meal or ironing the laundry perfectly isn’t going to get you a Padmashri award. It is a choice that a woman makes but sometimes it is really okay if she takes a break and does things in the way she likes it to be,” says Shah.

Shah will soon be seen in ‘Delhi Crime 2’. Then, she has ‘Doctor G’ which is directed by filmmaker Anubhuti Kashyap and stars actor Ayushman Khurrana and actress Rakul Preet Singh. Then she has ‘Jalsa’, a film which is directed by filmmaker Suresh Triveni, where she will be co-starring besides actress Vidya Balan.

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