Preity Zinta says if female actors devote as much time as their male counterparts to the film career, it would be possible for heroines to have a longer shelf-life.
The 43-years-old actor said the fact that the society is still patriarchal makes it tough for women to pursue their careers and same is the case with movie stars.
“If a female actor dedicates that many years then she would also (get that kind of stardom). Lot of actresses get married, have children, take a break. I personally took quite a few years of break. One has to compare apples to apples. You can’t compare apples to oranges. The moment an actress gets married and has children she is taking care of the children, she is out of circulation,” Preity told in an interview.
“Having said that, it is a patriarchal society but the real test of time will be with newer bunch of actors who is getting married and still working, to see how things go. It is unrealistic to compare heroes and heroines as their lifespan is different,” she added.
The actor believes the approach towards women has changed both on- and off-screen today.
“Who would have thought ‘Veere Di Wedding’ with all women do Rs 90 crore (business)? Nobody. It is the most exciting time for an actor like me as well. There are interesting roles out there and I would not like to do what I did 20 years ago. I want to grow and do progressive roles.”
Expressing her views on India’s #MeToo movement, which has seen many a stalwart such as Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Kapoor, Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai, Anu Malik and Rajat Kapoor fall, Preity said Bollywood is “very safe” for women.
“People treat you the way you want to be treated. If I am ready to say I am ready to do anything, then why would a guy not do anything. But when I say this is my work, keep it all professional… No guy has ever misbehaved with me. Having said that, I don’t want to talk about ignorance, I became successful in my first attempt, ‘Dil Se’, ‘Soldier’ became blockbuster, ‘Kya Kehna’ became a game changer.
“All these films were commercial hits. Nobody messes with you as now you have already succeeded. You can be a ‘no nonsense’ girl but if you are not successful, maybe there are people in position of power who can misuse it. But if you are not willing to fly with it, no one is going to force themselves (on you), that’s what I think, maybe there are some creepy people,” she said.
The actor said she has always felt comfortable in Bollywood.
“I have never experienced that in the industry, it is one of the safest places. If anything is happening to a girl, there is media. In no other industry, they have this. Also, action has been taken. The problem is also judicial system.