Bollywood actress Dia Mirza never minces her words when it comes to speaking about the ugly truths of the Bollywood industry. There’s no doubt that the Hindi film industry is male-dominated. While male actors keep acting till their hair turn grey, female actors tend to retire either after they get married or when they are in their late 30s. And while older actors continue to romance younger actresses on the celluloid, Dia Mirza calls it is a bizarre trend reasoning that older men like to be cast opposite younger women to extend their own shelf life.
When Dia was asked about old actors getting paired opposite younger actresses, Dia told TOI in an interview, “I hope that this expression of female actors allows them to play the leading part even when they are older. But the unfortunate truth of the matter is that stories are not written for the female older characters as much as the male ones. It is even more unfortunate to see an older man playing younger parts.”
Explaining her point on how the idea of beauty, Dia said, “The idea of beauty is always associated with youthfulness. I think that is why there is a large interest in consuming younger faces. An aberration to this would be an actress like Neena Gupta ji. She literally has said it out loud more than once, ‘I am an actor. I love my job. Please cast me.’ Thankfully, some interesting filmmakers decided to cast her in lead parts that were defeating her age. But there are a lot of actresses in their middle ages who are struggling and aren’t being cast because no stories are being written for them.”
She further added, “The industry is male-dominated. Older men like to be cast opposite younger women to extend their own shelf life. It is bizarre that a 50 plus something actor is acting opposite a 19-year-old actress.”
Earlier, Dia had reminisced about her life-changing moment in December 2000 when she won the Miss Asia Pacific International pageant, saying the win felt like it transitioned her old life into a new one.
“I was not raised to be competitive. Perhaps that is why I never wondered what would happen if I did not win. As this young girl from Hyderabad, I went to both the Miss India pageant and to Miss Asia Pacific International with the thought that I would value the opportunity and make the most of it,” said Dia, who was just 18 years old back then.