Art & Entertainment

Shilpa Shetty: Would Love To See Women Actors Get Characters Like Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson Do

Unlike Hollywood, there is a dearth of female action films in Hindi cinema, says actor Shilpa Shetty who hopes the scenario would change in the coming future.

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Shilpa Shetty
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Unlike Hollywood, there is a dearth of female action films in Hindi cinema, says actor Shilpa Shetty who hopes the scenario would change in the coming future.

Shetty, who is set to star as a cop in Rohit Shetty's maiden OTT series "Indian Police Force", said even the audiences are ready to see women actors in action avatars on the screen.

"It is because of the budget that we don’t make female action films here, and also, we are still in a male-dominated society. I would love to have a scenario where women in India can also portray characters like Gal Gadot and Scarlett Johansson do. I would love to do a film like, ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’. Geena (Davis) was amazing.

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"These are films with emotions and power. I wish filmmakers would take this opportunity now as good content is being made. Whether it is for OTT or films, people are ready for this," the actor told PTI in an interview.

Shetty, 48, essays the role of police officer Tara Shetty in "Indian Police Force", dubbed as the next chapter in Rohit Shetty's cinematic cop universe that started with 2011 movie “Singham” and expanded with “Singham Returns” (2014), “Simmba” (2018) and “Sooryavanshi” (2021).

The series will also feature Sidharth Malhotra and Vivek Oberoi.

The actor, who made her debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in "Baazigar" (1993) and then featured in films such as "Main Khiladi Tu Anari", "Dhadkan", "Phir Milenge" and "Life in a... Metro", thanked Rohit Shetty for casting her in an age-appropriate role in "Indian Police Force".

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"I call her a shero... I would feel odd to do a part that’s not age-appropriate. Age is just a number. It’s also about how you are aging. If you are going to look your age and not look the part, the maker will not cast.

"But if you are not looking that age and you are looking the part, they will. We are already seeing that women are offered some really meaty roles and they are coming into their own. So, it's a great time for us."

“Indian Police Force” is described as an ode to the selfless service, unconditional commitment and fierce patriotism of police officers across the country.

According to the actor, her role was originally intended for a male actor but the filmmaker decided to cast Shetty instead.

“I’m the only female cop in the cop universe that he sets in the series. He has treated the character as a character and not made any changes as per the gender, which is brilliant,” she said.

“It was so well-written, and it was tough on paper, and even tougher as an artist to portray. She is a hard nut to crack. She is in a senior position, assertive, authoritative. So, it’s an amazing part to sink your teeth into,” she said.

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To portray the part, Shetty said she subconsciously sought inspiration from former IPS officer Kiran Bedi.

"I’ve played the part exactly the way Rohit wanted it. Maybe you will see an element of her (Bedi). She speaks in an authoritative way, so this was there at the back of my head,” she said.

During the show's shooting, the actor had broken her leg. As she was recuperating at home, the actor signed her next project -- the pan-India film “KD-The Devil”. The period action entertainer, directed by filmmaker Prem, features Druva Sarja and Sanjay Dutt among others.

"When he (Prem) came to narrate the script, I was like, ‘I’ll listen to it but I don’t want to do it because I’m not in that frame of mind’. He narrated the script and at interval point, with my broken foot, I got up and said, ‘I’ll do it.’

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Shetty also said that she has deliberately chosen to play parts that surprise the audience.

"I have decided to do characters that I’ve not done before and surprise people. Everybody looks at Shilpa Shetty as someone who is glamorous. They forget that I’ve delivered so many different characters before.

"It’s not their fault, as I didn’t do a lot of work in the last ten years. Now, since I’ve decided to do work, I look at it differently. So, from ‘Indian Police Force’ and then ‘KD’, it is an absolutely different avatar, my next outing I want it to be totally diverse.”

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“Indian Police Force” will also feature Shweta Tiwari and Nikitin Dheer. The seven-part action series will debut on January 19 on streamer Prime Video.

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