Ayesha Raza Mishra: Playing mom is okay if role is substantial

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Ayesha Raza Mishra who has appeared in web series ‘Sutliyan’ says she does not mind playing the character of a mother or an elderly woman on-screen, as long as it is a substantial character as opposed to a token appearance.

She was just 10 years old when as a student in her school she performed a mother for a stage drama. Since then, mostly in her acting career so far, she played mother on-screen in several films like ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Befikre’, ‘Madaari’, ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Veere Di Wedding’, and ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’.

Ayesha told IANS: “I think playing the character of a mother is never a problem for me. The problem is, in most of the stories, they are just supportive roles and not the lead, not author-backed. I have played characters that are small in length, yes people can still recall them but not lead. While it is wonderful to see OTT has created space for more female lead stories, I feel whether it is a lead or principal character, every female should be represented in a narrative with dignity and not just as furniture, that still happens.”

Citing examples of ‘Aranyak’, ‘Aarya’, ‘Human’, Ayesha said that while watching actresses like Raveena Tandon, Sushmita Sen, Shefali Shah as lead is great, she addresses another issue with female actors who predominantly appear in supporting roles.

Ayesha said, “Look, casting a star like Sushmita and Raveena in the leading role is very convenient and they have an audience for it. The audience would love to watch them on any platform, be it cinema or OTT. Shefali for instance is a great actress and an old friend of mine. I know how talented she is. Since she appeared in supporting characters in most of the films when she headlines a show like ‘Human’ I see a silver line there.”

“I have been working for so long, but I still am stuck in ‘Delhiwali aunty’ image. More characters should be written for us. Perhaps that is why when the show ‘Sutliyan’ came to me, I said yes. I knew it was not a random mother’s character. Supriya is multi-dimensional and that’s what we look for,” she signed off.

The show ‘Sutliyan’ also featuring – Shiv Panditt, Vivaan Shah, Plabita Borthakur – streams on ZEE5.

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