Actress Freida Pinto has lauded her fellow Indian contemporaries Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut for giving a new lease of life to the female protagonist in Bollywood films, saying they are changing the rule of the business.
The 31-year-old “Slumdog Millionaire” actress, who is a strong advocate of women issues, says this shift in the Hindi film industry will have a great impact to empower women on the grassroot level.
“I don’t necessarily work in Bollywood but I can give you my spectator view when it comes to Indian films. With Priyanka doing a ‘Mary Kom’ or Kangana doing ‘Queen’, I definitely feel it is a positive sign. They are changing the rules. I think it is great to see more female protagonists taking the lead in films,” Freida said in an interview on the sidelines of IIFA awards here.
“Peole are now used to seeing a female actor taking the lead in a film as opposed to male stars. It has also helped people understand in the grassroot level as well. That’s where we want the impact to be seen.”
Freida says female actors taking the lead ahead of their male counterparts is not new to Hindi films as in the ‘80s, the silver screen was ruled by strong women-centric films which starred Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil.
The actress says the resurgence of the actress in Bollywood is an encouraging trend. She attributed the audience for this shift.
“In the ‘80s, it was all Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil. They were role models and I grew up watching that. Then in the ‘90s there was a lag and female actresses were not used to their potential. I now see a resurgence of strong female characters. The reception from the audience has made it easier.”
Freida, however, feels there is still a long way to go.
“Change is happening. May be not at the place we hope for but it is happening.”