Reinventing roles: Acting to production
Like brands need to change direction as they mature, the pretty ladies of Bollywood are well aware of their shelf life in the film industry. And, like brands need to plan for their shelf life, they too strategize and switch lanes. When they are still doing well in Bollywood, they turn to new business ventures as well — for a secure future. Small wonder, that actresses have started looking at other lucrative avenues while there’s still time.
Anushka Sharma turns producer in her next film ‘NH10’ which features Neil Bhoopalam and her in the lead role. The first stills of NH 10 were doing rounds on Twitter and they looks exemplary. Directed by Navdeep Singh, the film is co-produced by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vikas Bahl. The first look of the film looks splendid, but the question top-of-mind is — will the film create magic on screen?
Six odd years after Fashion, Priyanka Chopra and Madhur Bhandarkar have joined hands for the actress’ maiden production venture, ‘Madamji’. Released under her banner Purple Pebble Pictures, it will be co-produced by Bhandarkar Entertainment and Ram Mirchandani’s Rampage Motion Pictures. ‘Madamji’ is a woman-oriented film revolving around the life of an item girl, who climbs up the ladder of success as she traces her journey toward becoming a powerful politician. The film is slated to go on the floor this month. Elated Madhur said, “It’s a performance-oriented film about an item girl, who turns into a top-notch politician. I really get along with Priyanka and enjoy working with her.”
Shilpa Shetty Kundra, whose career has sailed smoothly after her win in Britain’s ‘Big Brother’, recently turned producer with her debut production ‘Dishkiyaoon’. Also, beauty pageant-turned-actress Dia Mirza along with actor Zayed Khan launched her production house Born Free. Their first film was romantic comedy ‘Love, Breakups, Zindagi’. They played the lead role in it, but it tanked. Then Dia has tried to regain with ‘Bobby Jasoos’ — a spy-thriller centered around a female detective played by Vidya Balan; but this tanked too at the box-office.
Another beauty queen-turned actress Juhi Chawla tried her hand at production by teaming up with her co-star Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Aziz Mirza and launched Dreamz Unlimited. They made ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’ (2000), a social satire that had Shah Rukh-Juhi in the lead roles, while Mirza helmed it. But the dream team’s first venture bombed.
Coming from a family of producers and directors, it seemed only natural that Pooja Bhatt changed her course toward production early in her career. Today she is known more as a director. She started out with ‘Tamanna’ in 1997, which she produced as well as starred in and turned director much later in 2003 with ‘Paap’. Pooja, who produces under her banner Fisheye Network, has so far made about 10 films which included ‘Dushman’, ‘Zakhm’, ‘Jism’ and ‘Jism 2’.
Since the Indian film industry kicked off, a lot has changed in Bollywood. From being a male domain with a fugitive presence of women in films, the industry has grown to women-centric films that sometimes even click at the box office. With women getting more credence in the industry, it is not surprising that they now want to wield more power.
Actresses reinventing themselves — there are many examples today. As you polish and reinvent your brand, it’s essential to protect core values and beliefs. This seems to be the guiding factor of these Bollywood beauties, who seem determined to succeed, in any role!
So, it seems a natural phenomenon — the increasing number of actresses donning the producer’s hat.