31 May 2021: Priyal Mahajan addresses 25-year age gap with 'Molkki' co-star
Actress Priyal Mahajan is currently playing Purvi, the female lead in Colors TV's hit serial Molkki. While Mahajan is a 19-year-old, her co-star Amar Upadhyay is 25 years her senior. He plays Purvi's husband Virender Pratap Singh on the show. The actress recently opened up about the huge age gap with Upadhyay and shared how she felt while doing the romantic scenes.
Details: It was 'little difficult' to romance Upadhyay initially, confessed Mahajan
Speaking to TOI, Mahajan said it was difficult to romance Upadhyay at first but he helped her ease up. "Initially, it was a little difficult and I felt I couldn't do it... It took time but things got better and normal," she said. She added, "Amar sir started talking normally, maybe he sensed that I was not comfortable enough. Then things came on track."
Candid: However, the age gap 'never bothered' her
Mentioning it is her first lead role and she is continuously learning, Mahajan pointed out that the entire cast and crew helped her through it. In fact, she was "never bothered" with the age gap as everyone on set interacts like friends. "Amar sir is elder to me, but there has never been a moment that I had awkwardness talking to him," she added.
Plot: 'Molkki' deals with the social evil of bride buying
To note, Molkki narrates the story of a teenage bride (Mahajan) who is sold to marry a rich widower (Upadhyay) double her age. Although here the casting is in accordance with the story, the norm of casting younger women opposite older men is prevalent throughout India on big and small screens alike. The shorter shelf life of actresses is one major reason why.
Disturbing norm: 'Molkki' casting was story-appropriate, but gawking age gaps seen everywhere
While women are dismissed from the ability to play lead roles early, men continue to play man-child(ren) without scrutiny with women half their age—be it Salman Khan in Radhe or Akshay Kumar in Laxmii. Moreover, society squints at (rare) on-screen pairings where the woman is older. It's time we stop normalizing it because a 20-year age difference should not be normal.
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