"you will have to work your dates around his."
Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has opened up about her experiences of sexism in the film industry.
According to Balan, women face sexism all the time, and it has been normalised so much that it is becoming more difficult to get rid of.
She said that sexism annoys her, and that not everyone notices it when it happens.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Vidya Balan also recalled her own experiences with sexism.
“I think we face sexism all the time, and not just through men, even from women. Sometimes, we do that to other women too.
“I think misogyny is so intrinsic to the patriarchal mindset, in which we are all steeped, that it is difficult to get rid of it easily.
“I face it even today, sometimes. It annoys me, but of course, it is much less now than before.
“All around me, I see people facing sexism. Not everyone is even aware that they are saying something wrong, most of the time.”
Vidya Balan went on to talk about her encounters with sexism when she first got into the Bollywood industry.
The actress revealed that she was asked to change her dates according to the male actor’s availability.
She said that, even if her role was more prominent than her male co-star’s, she was still expected to adapt to suit his schedule.
Vidya Balan said:
“In my early years, I would always be told that ‘the male actor has given his dates, so you will have to work your dates around his’.
“Sometimes, it didn’t even matter if I was playing a more prominent role than him in the film.”
Vidya Balan’s newest film Sherni sees her play a forest officer who battles personal and professional sexism.
According to Balan, Sherni’s “unusual story” drew her to the film, and that the character she is playing is like no other.
The actress also said that, while Bollywood films have been set in the jungle before, Sherni is about the jungle itself.
Balan said: “I thought that was a first, and of course, Vidya Vincent as a character is very different from any of the characters I have played so far.
“All the characters I have played have been very obviously strong. Vidya Vincent is strong but she doesn’t come across as aggressive.
“She is very withdrawn, so it’s a different personality, and I thought that was again a first.”
Sherni is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from Friday, June 18, 2021.