Indian TV soaps seem to have matured both in content and context. Today, its protagonists are no longer hapless young bahus tortured by evil mothers-in-law, or reeling under the apathy of spineless husbands. Of late, there has been an influx of shows where 30-plus actresses are featuring as lead characters with meaty roles that show off their wellhoned acting chops. Here are a few actresses who have broken the mould by captivating viewer attention and making producers once again look at them as having serious potential.

Sakshi Tanwar: When Sakshi returned to the small screen three years after her iconic show Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii went off air in 2008, most regarded her second tryst as just another role. But a mature love story about a mismatched marriage required her to break out of her comfort zone, effectively making her the toast of tellyland once again. The actress garnered a lot of attention for her “bold” consummation scene with costar Ram Kapoor on the show. While critics might have arched their eyebrows over the act, Sakshi made her point — the envelope needs to be pushed!

Mouli Ganguly: Another actor from the same ilk, who plays the other woman in Kya Huaa Tera Vaada, talks about the trend of going bold like Sakshi did, saying, “I can’t say how bold my character looks, but Anoushka is definitely one of the most complex characters I’ve played till date. If it is absolutely required and shot aesthetically, I think bold scenes are acceptable on the small screen. That said, I do have my limitations. I have set some boundaries and I make sure I play characters with depth.”

Shubhangi Aatre: Lead actress of 'Do Hanson Ka Jodaa' Shubhangi Aatre says, “There was a demand for only young faces to play protagonists not too long ago. Today, mature love stories appeal to the audience, and thanks to career-oriented women, late marriages are common too these days. Mature actresses are willing to experiment and even undergo makeovers as that prevents them from slipping into the maa and bhabhi roles. Actresses who look glamorous are game for this.”

Maninee De Misra: According to this TV actress, actors in their 30s have gone through a process of learning through their characters, imbibed nuances, developed a new perspective, and grown up as individuals, which has enabled them to go beyond their comfort zones. Maninee feels that age and experience gives them the clarity and conviction a bolder character requires. She says, “Established actors challenge themselves by attempting to play multidimensional characters. As you mature as an actor, you start pushing the limits to challenge and hone your craft. Younger actors are not yet comfortable with portraying bolder characters. They fear this will slot them into a certain frame. Also, the producer and actor have to have an association based on mutual trust, so that nobody’s limits are trespassed. Now, bold scenes may not necessarily mean shedding clothes, kissing or doing ******** scenes. It’s about using your body and persona with conviction to act out the scene with the required sensuality. What Sakshi did was a beautiful representation of what a woman in love feels and how she would express herself in moments of passion.”

Mona Singh: The TV serial that made her a household name was Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahii and there has been no looking back since then for this actress. She is the face of TV shows and reality shows including big ones like Jhalak Dikhlaja and Star Ya Rockstar. In Kya Huaa Tera Vaada, Mona Singh plays a wife and mother of 3 children, a role that most new breed of actresses refuse to play in recent times.Advertisement

Shweta Tiwari: Playing Prerna in Kasautii Zindagii Kay gave her instant stardom. Shweta Tiwari has acheived a lot since then - from her Bigg Boss win to reality shows and TVCs. She is currently seen in Parvarrish – Kuchh Khattee Kuchh Meethi playing the role of a strict mother raising two children.

Author: Neha Maheshwri Bhagat

Image courtesy: BCCL