"Every woman, every minority fights every day."
Actress Fatima Sana Shaikh has opened up about facing rejection in her career and being molested at the tender age of three.
The actress made her Bollywood debut in Aamir Khan’s Dangal (2016). Fatima earned critical acclaim for her role in the film. In fact, the film is considered one of the most successful Bollywood films.
However, after starting on a high, Fatima’s second film, Thugs of Hindostan (2018) failed miserably at the box office.
According to an interaction with Pinkvilla, Fatima Sana Shaikh shared her struggle about facing a lot of rejection before landing her big break. She said:
“I was told many times that ‘you would never be a heroine’. You don’t look like Deepika, you don’t look like Aishwarya. How will you be a heroine?’
“So there are people like them who will demotivate you. But now when I look back, I think, ‘fair enough’. That’s the standard of beauty they subscribe to.
“That one should look exactly like this or that to become a heroine. And I clearly don’t fall in that bracket, I fall into a different bracket.
“But there are opportunities now, there are films being made for people like me, who don’t look like supermodels, who look normal, average.”
Fatima Sana Shaikh continued to speak about the sexism prevalent in society. She also revealed that she molested at the age of three. She explained:
“I have faced people telling me that the only way to get a job is through sex. So that has also happened to me. I have lost jobs to someone else for whatever reason.
“But I feel that there are a lot of struggles that a lot of people are facing apart from this industry and sexism is very much relevant and it exists in every industry. I was molested when I was five years old. No! I was three years old.
“So, you understand how deep sexism goes. It’s a battle we fight on everyday basis.”
“Every woman, every minority fights every day. And I hope our future is better.”
On the work front, Fatima Sana Shaikh will be seen in two back-to-back releases, Ludo (2020) and Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari (2020).
Speaking to Hindustan Times about the same, the actress said:
“I never think of it as me wanting to try a different genre. Of course, I do want to experiment with different roles so it’s more about how interesting the project is to me.
“Like with Ludo, I wanted to do the film because of Dada (Basu) and with Suraj Pe Mangal, because of the amazing star cast. There are so many actors and all of them are so good.
“From Manoj sir to Seema Pahwa, Manoj Pahwa, Annu Kapoor, Diljit, Supriya Pilgaonkar…I mean it’s a heavy duty cast. And then Abhishek, who has made Tere Bin Laden, so comedy is his thing.
“So, I felt like I want to be a part of it because it is going to be a learning experience. I don’t know when I will get to work with Manoj sir again so I had to jump into it.”