Shruti Haasan says she has learnt to navigate through the “lopsided” gender dynamics on a film set, where the hero gets preferential treatment, while most women use silence as a defence mechanism.
Shruti Haasan, the daughter of veteran actor Kamal Haasan and Sarika, in an interview with news agency PTI, spoke about how the combination of her “surname and her b**** face” kept her protected in the film industry.
Now after many years, I feel comfortable and safe enough to open up and say whatever I want,” PTI quoted Shruti as saying.
She also talked about how she realised that the ‘little’ things that she did on the sets of the films were considered impolite.
“I chose silence and withdrawal as a protective mechanism. I think a lot of women on set feel that way. They’d say ‘Don’t keep reading a book, it looks impolite’.
So I’d just keep going to the vanity van because I didn’t know who to communicate with. It took me a long time to learn how to navigate things,” she added.
Shruti said the gender dynamic is so imbalanced because of the patriarchal society, which will always look after the men first, even in a film.
“So the chair will be first kept for the hero. In my first few films, I was never offered a chair first, or on any other set. The guy always got the chair first. ‘Oh the hero has come near the monitor, get him a chair,’ they would say.
“It’s the good men who said, ‘No, you please sit first.’ I don’t face that anymore. But what I can do as a woman is sensitive to the women on set.”
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