Should Aishwarya Rai have said no when Abhishek Bachchan proposed to her? That’s an idea being floated around in the press, which lays part of the blame for Aishwarya’s lack of recent hits on her 2007 marriage.
Marriage traditionally signalled the end of an Indian film actress’s career, though in recent years it has instead marked a transition from “heroine” roles to those of mothers, aunts, etc. There’s rarely a middle ground, and though times are changing some in the industry still refuse to cast married actresses in heroine-style roles.
Case in point is Kareena Kapoor, who was just last week dismissed from the film Ram Leela because the director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, didn’t want a married woman portraying a Juliet character.
But has that thinking extended to Aishwarya’s career? It’s true that she hasn’t had a big hit since she got married, though she’s landed a variety of roles. But she’s had very few “young” roles–with the exceptions of Guru and Action Replayy she’s tended to play older roles, and hasn’t had a solo hit in years.
The same can’t be said, of course, about Bollywood’s male actors, most of whom are cast as college-age characters well into their forties (ahem, Aamir Khan in Rang de Basanti and Saif Ali Khan in pretty much everything).
Is this double standard fair? Of course not. Will it change any time soon?
Of course not.
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