Famed Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman shared her life’s philosophy and opened up about her career during a session at We The Women conclave on Sunday.
The veteran actress said that the biggest advantage of living by her own rules in the male-dominated industry was that people knew she could not be taken for granted.
Rehman also called out people with sexist attitude saying, “When (a female actor) touches 30, they say, ‘She has become old. Now, we will have to cast a new girl.’ I used to be so bugged by it and would think how can they do something like this.”
She continued to add on that, “This is a problem that has existed since the beginning and it continues even today. A 60-year-old or 52-year-old is being a romantic hero and for a girl, after 25, it’s said, ‘It’s enough.’ They (male actors) think, ‘We will look as young as the age of the actresses we work with.’ There’s an insecurity,”
Sharing her thoughts on ongoing MeToo movement the 80 years old actor said, “I think in those days they were scared to misbehave with the leading lady because there was a big chance that the lady would say, ‘I am walking out of the movie or throw him out.’ So, it was a risky thing for them to do.”
She further added that, “Yes, I was very shocked and very pained actually that I thought they were decent people, how could this happen, why should this happen? It’s very sad actually. It affects the family, the children. It’s very sad.”
“Men have to behave themselves and women have to be very alert. And whatever happens. report immediately. Don’t wait for long because society is with you. We are with you. Your parents are with you. What more do you want? You shouldn’t be scared. Report and sort it out,” she said.
Waheeda thinks that it is good to have more women in the industry. She said having more women on the set is important to build a safer environment.
She commented, “If there are more women on sets, then you will feel more secure and that person will be more sympathetic towards you. The industry is more equal for women today. There are a lot of girls on set now. There was a gap of 16 years in my career. When I returned, I saw a lot of girls on set and I wondered what were they doing there. They are now art directors, assistant directors, directors and it’s very good,”