Veteran actress Neena Gupta, who worked in TV shows like Saans, Siski, Saat Phere and Kamzor Kadii Kaun, says working on the small screen gave her money, fame and name. “When I came from Delhi to become an actor there were only films and no TV. Working in films is an aspiration for all actors. When I did not get roles in films then I did TV and got a chance to play all kinds of roles. TV gave me money, fame and name,” Neena said.
The 59-year-old says she did a lot of work on the small screen. “I used to get small and useless roles in movies. Then I thought I should do just TV and today the fan following I have is because of working on television,” added Neena, who is currently enjoying the success of her latest release Badhaai Ho.
Asked if age is now detrimental for an actress’ career in Bollywood, Neena agreed and said that after a certain age, they don’t receive good offers. “There are not many roles. I always say that, ‘After a certain age, what is a woman’s role? Taking care of the family and home. After that there is no role’. When the society will change, I think we would have more roles on-screen.”
Last year, Neena was in the spotlight after she took to social media to ask for “good roles”. She has now been frequently seen in films. Apart from Badhaai Ho, Mulk and Veere Di Wedding this year, she will next be seen in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar.
“Earlier in these subjects, there were no big roles. We used to get small character roles. Now films are being made on solid and substantial roles,” said Neena, who essays a 50-year-old pregnant woman in Badhaai Ho.
She said the film is not only about breaking taboos, but about ageless love. “It is an important thing and I don’t think anyone has ever spoken about this. The more I worked in the film, the more I realised that it is very important and is more than just ‘hasi, mazaak (humour)’,” added Neena, who is the mother of popular designer Masaba Gupta, whom she had with legendary cricketer Vivian Richards.
She describes her own journey as a mother “very tough”. “My journey was very tough. I had no money. Money is the most important thing, I have realised in this world. I didn’t have a husband and relatives. So it was really tough, but the joy Masaba gave me… The joy of motherhood… She was a very good child she did not trouble me much.