The present narrative might imply strong feelings of aversion towards Bollywood, but not for everyone this industry is a big bad world. Amruta Subhash is one such example. Content with her stint in the Hindi film industry, the actor, however, does not deny that experiences may vary from person to person.
“Entry is difficult no doubt but till date the directors, of the films I’ve worked with, have always approached me instead the other way round. In fact Bollywood has been welcoming to me. I’ve never felt like an outsider here. Fortunately, till now I never had to face any of the biases or discrimination. But I won’t say that they don’t exist. Everyone’s journey is different. Like anywhere else, the industry is filled with both good and bad people,” says the Gully Boy actor.
Sharing her experience of collaborating with filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Alankrita Shrivastava, Subhash says they understand that an actor is vulnerable and needs a secure atmosphere to perform better.
“From the actor who has the minimum screen time to the one who has the maximum presence, everyone is treated with equal importance. They push you out of your comfort zone but never let you fall. I can’t work in an environment which is devoid of respect and understanding. Had I not got that I would’ve definitely not continued,” adds the actor, whose next web project is Bombay Begums.
Many regional film actors have spoken about how Bollywood often neglects talents from other Indian film industries. On the contrary, Subhash,40, says her work in the Marathi film industry gave her exposure. In fact, she reveals that after her first Bollywood film Firaaq (2008) she got busy with Marathi films and only made a comeback in Bollywood with Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016)
“I’ve always been very particular about the work I associate myself with. Content is my lover. Many of my Marathi films have received national and international honours. I got a National award for Astu (2015) where I had 10-minute of screen time. My past work has always given me my next,” she adds.
Among the narratives that Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise has restarted, Subhash says the conversation around mental health must continue.
“We’ve been taking mental health lightly. Agar bukhar hota hai toh hum doctor ke paas jaate hai par agar koi mann ki bimari se jujh raha hai toh hum bolte hai bhai mast raho kuch nahi hua hai tumhe. I’ve been taking psychotherapy for so many years. Many were surprised to know about it but I never felt that I should be hiding anything. I’ve even written about it in my book. Life is full of ups and downs and while going through them there are times when we lose control over our emotions. That’s when we need help. If that help is available why not take it?” she adds.
Reacting to the stigmas attached to mental health and how people fear judgment and loss of work, Subhash says people in power should talk about it openly. “After I opened up, many told me how my revelation have encouraged them to not shy away from speaking up. Deepika (Padukone; actor) is doing such good work. I think we all must do our bit to address this growing concern,” she concludes.
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ