"There’s a shelf life for an actress."
Mahira Khan and Fahad Mustafa are busy promoting their upcoming film Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad.
The duo made an appearance on filmmaker Taimoor Salahuddin, aka Mooro’s podcast, to speak about the film and the problems actors have to deal with.
Mahira, in particular, opened up about ageism in showbiz and without mincing words, confessed how it is prevalent in the fraternity.
Mahira Khan agreed when the host said: “Age is a thing in show business that’s frowned upon, strangely enough.
“The more you look old, the more people go like yaar iska time pura hogaya hai.”
When Mooro went on to assert that it’s even “harder for women than for men,” Fahad interjected, “It’s both ways now.”
Mahira Khan responded: “I disagree. They put you in this box and say there’s a shelf life for an actress. But I think we are proving it wrong. People like me.”
Mooro shared that it’s also strange transitioning from a hero to a father figure, to which Fahad questioned: “Why a father figure only?”
Mooro reminded the guests of how gracefully Jawed Sheikh did the same without feeling embarrassed, to which, Fahad reminded him of the veteran actor’s mutability.
To this, Mahira Khan added: “There isn’t. Of course, we want actors who are older to play the hero too.
“There’s a reason why they (filmmakers in Hollywood) are doing it, they know people are going to watch them.
“But let’s make it normal also, let’s talk about it. I talk about the fact that I am divorced, and I have a 12-year-old who’s going to turn 13.
“Let’s talk about it. I have to be comfortable with these facts first so I can normalise talking about it.”
She went on to reinstate how ageism is a “primitive notion” that should no longer be the standard.
Mooro then recalled an Irrfan Khan interview, during the time he was shooting for Lunchbox, in which the late actor expressed his fear of losing opportunities because of age.
Mahira Khan said: “That fear is there for everyone. We are so exposed, that you can’t even imagine that feeling of exposure, in HD, when the camera zooms into your face.
“We are so exposed in front of our audiences.”
“And even your quintessential hero or heroines go through a slump. Because their whole career is based on playing the girl and the boy. But suddenly, they have to adjust.
“If they are able to adjust and transition in that period, then they can also become an Al Pacino or Bachchan.”