"Older men like to be cast opposite younger women"
Dia Mirza has said that it is “bizarre” seeing older actors cast opposite young actresses but is prevalent due to Bollywood being male-dominated.
She also stated that it is “unfortunate” to see middle-aged actors play characters much younger than themselves.
In an interview, she said: “The unfortunate truth of the matter is that stories are not written for the female older characters as much as the male ones.
“It is even more unfortunate to see an older man playing younger parts.
“The idea of beauty is always associated with youthfulness. I think that is why there is a large interest in consuming younger faces.”
Dia explained that while older men still play lead roles, the same cannot be said with older women.
“An aberration to this would be an actress like Neena Gupta ji. She literally has said it out loud more than once, ‘I am an actor. I love my job. Please cast me’.
“Thankfully, some interesting filmmakers decided to cast her in lead parts that were defeating her age.
“But there are a lot of actresses in their middle age who are struggling and aren’t being cast because no stories are being written for them.”
On the subject of Bollywood being male-dominated, Dia added:
“The industry is male-dominated. Older men like to be cast opposite younger women to extend their own shelf life.
“It is bizarre that a 50 plus something actor is acting opposite a 19-year-old actress.”
Previously, Dia Mirza revealed that her appearance has prevented her from getting certain roles, calling it “strange”.
“I think any stereotype and pre-conceived notions are not good.
“The way I look has been a disadvantage for me in my acting profession many times.
“I have lost a job and not been cast in a part because I look too good. It is a strange disadvantage.”
While Bollywood seems to still be male-dominated, Dia believes that OTT platforms are producing more women-centric content.
“I think stories and opportunities for female characters have opened up significantly.
“There are more female representations now, more than ever. We have more female directors, DoPs, and editors.
“The number is lagging far behind even now but it is definitely more from the time I started working.
“It is that representation that has opened up the narration but I think that the advent of the OTT platform has truly given narratives that are driven from a feminine lens are increasing manifold. I am grateful for it.”