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​Bollywood Divas Changing Gender Bias, Working With Younger Heroes​



So tell us, why should we  boys have all  the fun? For decades now, Bollywood heroes have been paired with  girls half their age or even less, to sustain their  illusion of  youth. That trend seems more alive  today than  ever before , with A-listers  like Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar being  paired with heroines their daughter’s age in  Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and  Jab Harry Met Sejal.

The rules were quite the opposite for the leading ladies who even  in their prime were forced to  play mothers to heroes they had  played leading ladies to. The legendary Waheeda Rehman recalls her horror when she  was asked to play mother to her contemporary Jeetendrain  a slew of films in the 1980s. It finished off her career as a leading lady.

The gender  rules are now  changing in Bollywood.Raveena Tandon who looks young enough to play Ranbir and Ranveer’s heroine , firmly says no to all mother’s roles. “Except when I am asked to play a mother to a girl old enough to be  my daughter.I am okay with that.  But why should I play mom to  girls who are just 10 years my junior?”

Raveena has ushered in the trend of  heroines working with  younger heroes.  In her latest release Shab Raveena, 43, was paired with 22-year  newcomer Ashish Bisht.

“It was the need of the script. I don’t mind pairing with  younger actors. But I also starred with Mr Bachchan in Puri Jagannath’s Buddah Hoga Tera Baap though it was very clearly a much young woman as per the script,” says Raveena.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, 43 who has starred with her husband Abhishek Bachchan,  3 years her junior,  in several films, was last seen opposite 35-year old Ankur Bhatia in Sarbjit and 30-year  old Ranbir Kapoor in Ae Dil Hai  Mushkil.

53-year old Sridevi’s co-star in her last film Mom was the 48-year old Adnan Siddiqui.

Katrina Kaif  who is   34 was seen with 31-year old Aditya RoyKapoor  in Fitoor and  30-year old Sidharth Malhotra in Baar Baardekho.

One  now  hears Kareena  Kapoor has said no to films with Saif Ali Khan.

Says a  source close to the actress, “She wants to give her relationship with her husband some space on screen. They’ve turned down a feature film together recently. She wants to work with younger actors. She was paired with Arjun Kapoor who is some  years younger to her in  R Balki’s  Ki & Ka.  In  her  next film VeereDe Wedding her romantic  interest is  32-year old Sumeet Vyas.”

A project  with Ranveer Singh who has been angling to work with his favourite crush for some time(Ranveer and Kareena  were to co-star in Sanjay Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani)  is also on the anvil.

Clearly then, the glamour queens  of  Bollywood are up in arms against gender rules that permit the male superstars to serenade girls half their age on screen. The leading ladies will now give as good as they get.

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