Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Great to see female characters being written with empathy

Mumbai : Ever since her debut in Bollywood with ‘Dangal’ in 2016, Sanya Malhotra has played myriad roles on-screen which are close to reality. She says unless new generation of actresses question ‘stereotype’ and demand to change the image of women in cinema, the shift will not happen.

After her debut, Sanya has appeared in films like ‘Pataakha’, ‘Photograph’, ‘Pagglait’ and ‘Meenakshi Sundareshwar’ to name a few.

Sanya said: “I think the kind of character I have acted on-screen so far, as an audience I want to see them because they are the women I have grown up seeing! Whether it is Jyoti, Sandhya, Meenakshi…we are those women. The good thing is, writers are now writing them with empathy and not with sympathy.”

She added that as an audience, she is “demanding the right representation of women on-screen.”

“We really have to break those stereotypes. As an actress of the new generation, I surely feel the responsibility to choose and say the right thing. There are a few things about women in cinema we have just normalised, and maybe it is time for us to question them too. Yes, change is happening but we have a long way to go!”

Sanya will next be seen in ‘Love Hostel’, which revolves around a young couple Ashu and Jyoti who got married in an inter-faith relationship. As it was against the will of their parents, they had to elope, and eventually, the parents of the girl’s family decided to run after their lives for honor killing.

She admits that the story of ‘Love Hostel’ was the best script she read in 2020, the 29-year-old actress shared how difficult it was for her to find the right note to play the character.

“Our world is so different. Jyoti’s reality is so different from who I am in real life or even the circumstance I have grown up into. The only way we could have done it right is to surrender to the script completely and that is what our director has motivated us to do.”

“Honestly speaking I had no reference point to it, so in some of the scenes in the film where Jyoti was going through some kind of trauma that I could never imagine. Those were tough moments. As an audience, we connect to Ashu and Jyoti with a lot of empathy and what I love about the whole story is, no matter how bad the situation was, they never lose hope,” she concluded.

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