While there’s a change in content today, there’s also a change in the kind of resources or ideas that are accessible for actors now. From vanity vans and social media to PR and even material, celebrities, specifically women, are exposed to more avenues than before.
A lot has evolved, and these actresses have talked about how this helps them in their career today.
1. Neelam Kothari
In the first season of the reality show, Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives, the actress talked about the struggles they used to face, including but not limited to the lack of vanity vans and washrooms. The provisions were not the same as they’re now, which was challenging at times.
They used to hold up a blanket, and we used to change behind that, overlooking the valleys. Even if you had to use the washroom, they did the same thing.
2. Seema Bhargava Pahwa
In an interview, Seema Bhargava Pahwa talked about how cinema has somewhat evolved into a less stereotypical space, compared to before. She mentioned that when she started working in Bombay, directors wouldn’t cast her in commercial films or important roles because of not being ‘fair-skinned’.
3. Raveena Tandon
While talking to AIB in a segment called Creators For Change, Raveena Tandon also mentioned that in the 90s there was no way to put forth their side of the story. Due to the lack of presence of social media, magazines and tabloids wrote about celebrities, and those were the final statements that were believed.
There were unbelievable stories. One of the tabloids actually said that I had a fight with one of the heroes, and threw stones at his sixth-floor windows.
4. Juhi Chawla
Unlike today, audience’s reaction and box-office numbers were not accessible in the 90s and the time before. Looking back at her film journey, Juhi Chawla had shared that she’d stand outside theatres to check if people were watching the film or not, and if they were enjoying the experience.
5. Madhuri Dixit
In an interview about her second innings, Madhuri Dixit also talked about things that have changed. Even when it comes to fashion, according to her, there was very little access to information, and actresses didn’t know if they were doing things right or not. She also mentioned that there are more resources today, and things are easily available.
I remember how we used to use false eyelashes then and we used to keep them and reuse. Today we just use and throw them because they are so easily available.
6. Neena Gupta
After her post about wanting work went viral, Neena Gupta opened up about her struggles. She also mentioned how she wishes to have made her debut today. During her initial years in the industry, the only avenues were Doordarshan and films. There was also very little scope for women to explore with roles, specifically at an older age.
7. Hema Malini
While talking about her journey, Hema Malini mentioned that she enjoyed the type of films that she did, and how it was a golden era. But, she also talked about the initial struggle, when the makers of a film wanted her to change her name, and eventually turned her down.
I was extremely hurt. Fortunately for me, a producer (Ananthaswami) took me to Hindi cinema and introduced me to people there. And they retained my original name there.
The actress had shared a throwback picture from the sets of Ishq. She also added in the caption that there were no provisions of rooms or vanity vans, so there wasn’t any option but to sit on sets for over 14 hours, at times. And this continued, even if the weather was too harsh to work.
Rooms were too far away to keep going to, we still worked for 14 hours — heat, rain or shine, and looked good.
These are definitely changes for the better.