By Radhika Bhirani (08:05)
New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Bollywood stars often complain of intrusive questions from the media and controversies created by their reporting. But actresses Divya Dutta and Shahana Goswami say their respect for mediapersons has grown manifold after playing journalists on screen.
Divya and Shahana are playing journalists in the forthcoming movies "Monica" and "Game" respectively.
"Playing a journalist in 'Monica' helped me see a very interesting facet of being a political journalist wherein you get to enter the corridors of the political setup of the country and ask about anything! It made me realise what a powerful zone the mediapersons are in," Divya told IANS on phone from Mumbai.
"I've always looked up to women journalists like Barkha Dutt, who are strong and intelligent. But I respect them even more now," added Divya, whose character in the film is extremely ambitious and bold.
Shahana, who is essaying a crime reporter in Abhinay Deo's thriller "Game", says she never thought being a journalist could be so tough.
"The background of my role is that of a journalist but I am not doing too much related to the profession in the film. However, for one scene, I had to do a PTC (piece to camera) and I realised it was very tough reporting live. It was quite an experience," said Shahana.
Recently, Rani Mukerji donned the garb of a bold and fearless mediaperson in Rajkumar Gupta's "No One Killed Jessica". Though the role was a departure from the usual roles she essays, Rani said she didn't have to go out of her way to learn a journalist's mannerisms as she had met many during her career.
However, Soha Ali Khan's perception about journalists changed quite a bit after she played one of them in the 2008 film "Mumbai Meri Jaan".
"At one point I wanted to be a journalist. Then I was at the receiving end. Now after playing a TV journalist in 'Mumbai Meri Jaan', I'm more sympathetic towards the media's job. I understand why they need to ask uncomfortable questions. Of course, I still won't answer personal questions. But I understand the journalist has a right to ask what he or she wants to," Soha had said in an earlier interview.
The trend of female actors essaying a strong role of mediapersons is not new.
In 1987, Sridevi played a journalist with a humorous streak in "Mr. India", while Dimple Kapadia took on the role of a strong, revolutionary journalist in the 1994 film "Krantiveer".
In 2000 Juhi Chawla played Ria Banerjee, a TV journalist in "Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani". Bubbly actress Preity Zinta donned a completely new look to report live from the battleground a la Barkha Dutt for Farhan Akhtar's "Lakshya" in 2004.
It was followed by Konkona Sen-Sharma's moving portrayal of the life of a page three journalist in Madhur Bhandarkar's "Page 3". Konkona was also seen as an ambitious journalist in "15 Park Avenue" in 2005.
Even glamour girl Priyanka Chopra was seen as a TV anchor in "God Tussi Great Ho", just as Kangana Ranaut recently played one in "Knockout".
Actress Deepal Shaw played a cameo as a journalist in "A Wednesday" in 2008, while debutant Jahan Bloch got to essay Dimple Kapadia's "Krantiveer" role in the movie's sequel "Krantiveer 2" last year.
(Radhika Bhirani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)