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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Would Bollywood Play Gay?

Bollywood has not opened up to homosexuality yet-- as I said in an earlier post, it's still "trapped in the closet." But, a simple question by posed to various actors gathered noteworthy results.

Eight actors were asked if they would play a role in which they were gay. Of the actors who said they would, 5 actors said they would. Arshard Warsi was definitely the biggest name in the group (none of the other actors were that established-- which also says something), said that he would "willingly play a gay character. It will be a new challenge for me as an actor," which definitely makes sense.

Neil Mukesh, after just starring in one film (that won accolades of critical acclaim) also agreed that he would have no problem at all.

But the people who would weren't really having the greatest careers at the moment. Mohit Ahlawat, a prodigy of Ram Gopal Varma, really has no hits to his name, said that "For me it's difficult to play gay as I won't be able to identify with such a character. Sorry, I can't play a role I'm so far removed from. But I respect an actor like Irrfan or Sanjay Suri who can." Obviously, this is ridiculous. He's not really a great actor if he can't play a role which he claims he's "so far removed from."

Actor Prashant Raj was probably the most mistaken: "I don't think I'd do justice to a role like that. My structure and built might not be conducive to playing such a role." What does he even mean by that? He's too much of a "man" to play a gay character, or that he feels he doesn't fit a certain stereotype? And anyways, Raj has only done one film-- which has totally failed.

So, this interview is in many ways no surprises. But, it was nice for Arshad Warsi and Neil Mukesh to be progressive and open to different roles. As for the actors who denied the possibility... I don't think anyone is rushing to make a film with them anyways.