Ever since the trailer of Dabangg 3 was released last month, there has been chatter on social media about how older male stars consistently star opposite younger female actors, while the opposite - of older female stars romancing a much younger hero is a rarity. In the third instalment of Dabangg, we will see 53-year-old Salman Khan romancing the 21-year-old debutante Saiee Manjrekar.
We quizzed the film’s leading lady, Sonakshi Sinha, about what she thinks about the growing age gap between male and female actors, and the sexism in it, and here’s what she had to say.
We have seen Salman Khan romancing Revathi. Revathi is now playing mother of Alia Bhatt but Salman Khan is romancing a 21-year-old you know, so this difference of age gap, has this ever bothered you? Have you ever thought because it never happens the other way around. We never see a Madhuri Dixit romancing Ishaan Khatter. So can you tell me what do you think about it? The age gap is just becoming bigger and bigger.
Sonakshi Sinha: Oh wow! If you put it that way, but would you want to see Madhuri Dixit romancing an Ishaan Khatter?
Of course why not? Yes.
Sonakshi Sinha: That’s a bit... I don’t know. That’s a bit odd.
Why is it not odd when Salman Khan is romancing a 21-year-old? Why is it odd when Madhuri Dixit is romancing an Ishaan Khatter?
Sonakshi Sinha: I don’t know, actually. I have not thought of it that way.
Yeah, we should think about it.
Sonakshi Sinha: You should ask him only know? What is he eating or what is he doing to keep looking so young and keep romancing the younger girls with every film.
But have you ever thought about this?
Sonakshi Sinha: No, actually I haven’t because, for me, it’s a job, right? And hats off to him for having sustained a career for so long in the industry, and you know, still working with as much gusto as he did, initially. And I think it’s great to have achieved something like that. So if you have a problem with it, you should go and ask him.
No, we don’t have a problem with it. We have a problem that people are not accepting women doing the same thing.
Sonakshi Sinha: Honestly, if I was, I was at an age of 50, I would feel odd romancing a guy who’s 22-years-old. So that’s a personal opinion. So yeah, I don’t know. I mean, it’s possible. But it has happened, there has been a film where there was somebody...
Can you imagine one film and then there is...
Sonakshi Sinha: But also then it wasn’t accepted. I don’t think that film did well at all, which is the audience’s prerogative, right? The audience is not accepting something they are accepting something which a man does is okay to do with a younger person, but when a woman does it it’s not accepted.
That’s sexist, isn’t it?
Sonakshi Sinha: That just shows what kind of a country we live in.
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