Parvathy: I didn’t want to do a Bollywood film where the actress wasn’t treated at par with the actor

Parvathy: I didn’t want to do a Bollywood film where the actress wasn’t treated at par with the actor

After doing popular films down south such as Notebook, Bangalore Days, Poo and Prithvi, it took Parvathy some time before she decided to make her Bollywood debut with 'Qarib Qarib Singlle'. The actress says that for her, till a few years ago, Bollywood wasn't the space she would have time and energy for. "A few years ago, Bollywood did seem like a very intimidating space to me and I felt I don't have the energy, time and space for it. I'd rather read a book than try and manoeuvre my way into this labyrinth. But when Tanuja Chandra(director of 'Qarib Qarib Singlle') came, she was so straightforward. It felt like I was doing a movie in Malayalam and not in Hindi cinema. It was only after doing the movie that I understood the marketing structure of films here and how different it is from the south. You would never see me wearing makeup or in elaborate costumes, but there's a certain way the audience here expects you to be and I am enjoying it. I am very amused with this world," says Parvathy, who was in Delhi recently with her co-star Irrfan to promote the film.

'Didn't want to do a film where script narration to an actress wasn't important'

Parvathy adds that before signing Tanuja's film, she had three offers from Bollywood, but none worked out. "One was a project that went on to become a huge hit, but as a woman I felt it was regressive. For the second one, the dates didn't work out, and the third one never really reached the stage of script narration because they didn't think narrating the script to an actress was important. I would like to be contacted for projects where scripts are narrated to the actress and her inputs are equally important. It hasn't been an easy path - for one-and-a-half years my phone didn't ring and that caused me a lot of distress. But I always believed that if I have done good work, it will come back to me and it happened. My criteria for selecting a Bollywood film remained the same. My focus has only been on doing films with good teams - teams that came from the same school of thought as mine. In the past, I have worked with some directors who seemed progressive, but I realised the chauvinism in them much later," the actress says.

 'No matter how many hits an actress delivers, her market value doesn't exist'
Parvathy has never minced words when it comes to speaking on issues like pay disparity in the film industry. She said, "Female actors should be more outspoken and the pay gap needs to be dealt with. The change is happening, but very, very slowly. A lead actress in Bollywood has been speaking about it and she is quite a warrior, but she can't be alone in this. There are people like Rose McGowan in Hollywood speaking up on issues women face at work. Why don't we have such an army here? No matter how many hits an actress delivers, her market value doesn't seem to exist. The fact that my last four films down south have been superhits and I still can't ask for a penny more, says a lot. They still say that market value nahi hai aapki, overseas rights nahi hai aapke. We need more consistent good movies, with women playing the protagonist, who is not always someone's love interest in films."
 'I have more vivid memories of growing up in Noida than in Kerala'
 Parvathy has spent a few years of her childhood in Noida. She went to Vishwa Bharti Public School in Sector 28. "I still remember how much I cried in the rickshaw on the first day of my school. We were staying in Sector 28 in a flat and there were a lot of monkeys around our home. I also remember little things my brother and I would do. When my brother taught me how to use scissors, I started cutting my own hair and ended up with a bald patch on my head! I wore a cap to school the next day and when my teachers asked me what happened, I told them that my mother had punished me. She was then called to school for child abuse," she recalls.
 Parvathy adds, "Amma used to make mooli ke paranthe in winters that I totally loved. Now, when she comes to Noida, she can't recognise the buildings here, but she says there are certain places in the city that she knows well from her childhood days. I remember Nirula's, the only place where our father took us for dinner once after saving some money and we could not afford to have dessert. I also remember going to bhajans at the Ayyappa Temple with amma. When I was in Noida last, a friend who stays in Mayur Vihar took me to the temple," Parvathy says.
Source-Times Of India

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