Tisca Chopra opens up about the film industry’s problematic behavior towards female artistes
Actress Tisca Chopra made her debut as a director with the short film ‘Rubaru’. Tisca also acted in the movie. We recently had a video conversation where she spoke about the film, the film industry’s treatment towards women and more.
On asked how the idea came up, Tisca said, “This idea started many years ago when I was watching a Meryl Streep interview on YouTube where she says that ‘The usefulness of women in the medium of cinema is largely for their sexuality quotient, for the quotient of their good looks’. She said that as women start coming to a point where there are younger more attractive women available, then the youthfulness of the women starts reducing the way they are used on camera. So, which means that their screen time starts reducing and they become fringe characters. I thought if Meryl Streep is saying this, then what about the rest of the world? There were so many people who said that ‘Are those the only stories that you want women to tell, their youth, charm, beauty, what about the other millions of qualities that women have’. So, that was the idea.”
She added, “I experienced some of these realities myself; a lot of my colleagues have faced it. It’s all around us in the businesses and some of the lines in where they talk about the fact that ‘plastic surgery ki brand ambassador’, ‘aab bhabhi mummy ki role karegi’ yah ‘reality show ki judge banegi’. Those are aimed at what people assume to be the reality and that is the reality what we are seeing around us. Accomplished actors from the late 90s-2000 are the judges of the reality shows and that is the fact. That’s how you use them. They may have a lot of acting still left in them and a lot more experience and richness that is not something that is given so much of credence to. It’s only how young and fresh you are and that fulfils the need of summer romance and I understand that. There is a whole lot of other kinds of romance. I wanted to open up the idea of making other stories as well; not just this kind of story.”
You can watch the interview here.
When asked about the problematic behaviour the way industry treats the female artistes, she said, “It isn’t the problem in the Hindi film industry or the Indian film industry. It’s the problem in film businesses across the world. But the narratives in other countries have changed very dramatically. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock are headlining projects. That narrative in India has not shifted enough in India and that needs to shift. I hope that ‘Rubaru’ will be part of taking the spotlight.”