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Farhana star Aishwarya Rajesh opens up about facing prejudice: 'Dark-skinned and unfit for acting'

Farhana star Aishwarya Rajesh revealed that during the early days of her career, she was dismissed by many as "unfit for acting" due to her dark-skin tone.

Farhana star Aishwarya Rajesh opens up about facing prejudice: 'Dark-skinned and unfit for acting'
Aishwarya Rajesh in Farhana.

Last Updated: 03.34 PM, Jul 09, 2023


Actor Aishwarya Rajesh recalled that she was shammed by certain men in positions of power in the film industry during the early days of her career. Instead of summing up the discrimination and prejudices, however, she used them to fuel her determination to succeed as an actor. 

"I have no background, nothing. My father was in the cinema, but I lost him when I was 8 years old. People said you are dark-skinned. You are not fit to be an actor, you can't even be a junior actor. I basically speak Tamil and that also became a problem. I was not groomed like how a heroine was supposed to look like," Aishwarya said while talking as part of an all-women panel discussion on gender disparities within the film industry. 

The discrimination she faced based on her look strengthened her determination to pursue acting and prove her naysayers wrong. And she revealed when she started doing a lot of female-centric films, she stopped getting offers in big star films. "A journalist in Hyderabad asked me, why I keep doing female-centric films. So I asked him, can he go ask a male star, why he keeps doing hero-centric films?" she recalled. 


And she also rued that female stars get blamed when films don't do well commercially. "When films of female actors don't do well, they brand her unlucky. There is a director, producer and other 150 members who were part of the cast and crew, but only the poor heroine, who has done a small part, gets labelled unlucky." 

Aishwarya has successfully managed to create a niche for herself by leading many hit small and medium-budget movies that follow the trials and triumphs of strong-willed women protagonists. She was last seen in the social thriller Farhana. The movie sparked a lot of controversy as she plays the role of a Muslim woman hailing from a deeply conservative family. The film was released in cinemas to mixed reviews, however, Aishwarya's performance garnered a lot of appreciation. The movie earlier this week made its digital debut on SonyLIV. 

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