Actor Ratna Pathak Shah is someone who is known to voice her opinions quite candidly on a variety of topics. She has been part of several critically acclaimed films in the past, including Mandi (1983) and Mirch Masala (1987). She opened up about not getting her due in the industry and said how there are several actors, for instance Deepti Naval, who was rarely given the opportunity in those films. (Also read: Ratna Pathak Shah tries to stop Naseeruddin Shah from making controversial comments: ‘Koi aajaega ghar pe pathar daalne’)
Ratna, who is doing the promotional rounds for her next film Kutch Express, said in a recent interview how there was a star system which was not only a part of the commercial cinema space but that it also penetrated the art film circuit back in the 1980s. During a conversation she said, “Aap us zamane ke filmein dekhe, Deepti Naval jaise wonderful actress ko kitne role mile us tarah ki filmon mein? Wahi chaar the na bande – Naseer, Om, Shabana, Smita! (Take a look at the films from that era, how many films could a wonderful actress like Deepti Naval do? There were only four figures, Naseer (Naseeruddin Shah), Om (Puri), Shabana (Azmi), Smita (Patil)!).”
The Kapoor & Sons actor also mentioned names of actors like Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur in the same line emphasising that there were many actors who did not get their due even in the non-commercial cinema. In the interview with Siddharth Kannan, Ratna said how television was a space where she could grow as an actor and try so many different things. “That was a terrific time. Usme sikhne ka avsar mila, comedy ke vaja se sikhne ka avsar mila… (There I got the opportunity to learn, because of performing comedy I got the opportunity to learn).”
Deepti had shared in the Sahitya Aaj Tak discussion last year that she had stopped getting roles after she married. “It was as if my talent had been completely washed out. That happened, I went through that phase. There were several years when I had no work. I didn’t know what was happening because I always saw myself as an artist. If you don’t get to work or create, then who are you? I had to find my way back. That was one of the things that caused me depression,” said the actor who marked her Bollywood debut with Shyam Benegal’s film Junoon in 1978.
Ratna will be next seen in Kutch Express, which will mark her first lead role in Gujarati cinema. Last year, she was seen in John Abraham-starrer Attack and Ranveer Singh-starrer Jayeshbhai Jordaar. In the latter, she played the role of a Gujarati mother who wanted her daughter-in-law to abort her girl child. Ratna is known for her roles in TV show Sarabhai VS Sarabhai and films like Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, Golmaal 3, Kapoor & Sons and Khoobsurat.