After playing multiple intelligent characters in Bollywood, Abhay Deol has surely made a name in Indian cinema. During his recent interview with a Goa-based non-profit organization, Video Volunteers, Abhay opened up about his views on women, wage gap in Bollywood, chauvinism, patriarchy and much more.
Abhay Deol went on explaining why Devdas shouldn’t be glorified as a lover and how female directors do more justice to female characters in movies. Here are excerpts from his power-packed interview.
While talking about the female audience Bollywood has.
Women audiences are considered if you make a Neerja or Queen or Kahaani. I don’t think they (the filmmakers) are thinking of the female audience when they are making a big blockbuster because I think we have more of a male population than a female population, and the movies that are typically formula tend to appeal to young men. That’s why women in their films tend to be just gorgeous, glamour models, and then they have an item number.
He also expressed his views on the wage gap between female and male actors.
The more you hear the West do this, the more we follow. We don’t necessarily put it out there first. But yes, I think it will get translated here when it is established there. That’s the trend that I have seen so far. We wait for somebody else, we are not proactive on our own. The pay should depend on the job at hand, and not on one’s sex.
On how female directors do justice to female characters in films.
I think women tend to write women better than men. Women directors are much more sensitive with women characters than male directors. Not that the men can’t do it, but they tend to project their (own) idea of femininity sometimes.
On the glorification of stalking in Bollywood.
The problem is in glamorizing stalking. The problem is not necessarily with the filmmaker but with the system that we have to work out of.
On the mass molestation in Bengaluru.
They (the women) were not Indian enough? Fine. But are you saying that whatever you are doing is Indian? If I see an Indian woman who does not fit my description of an Indian woman, then am I being an Indian by touching her or feeling her? Is that part of our culture? Where does it say that you can violate a woman’s modesty because she is not behaving Indian enough? If you expect a woman to follow what the Indian norm is then why don’t you follow the Indian norm of what a man’s like?
Abhay’s views on sexist conditioning.
Sometimes we are sexist without knowing it, simply because of our conditioning, and when someone points it out you should have an open mind to see, ‘Oh is that true? Is that even possible?’ And only if you are open to seeing your faults can you see them and when you do, you grow leaps and bounds. That conditioning then just dies in a moment.
If most men are aggressive and chauvinistic then it takes another chauvinist to tell them to see their own ways. It won’t take another woman because they won’t take her seriously. That’s why they are chauvinist.
Take a look at Abhay Deol’s full interview here…