Actor Vidya Balani spoke about the 2019 movie Mission Mangal in a new interview. Vidya said the film starring Vidya along with four other female actors was dubbed an “Akshay Kumar film,” while the other female cast was not seen as the lead. Also read: Akshay Kumar on Mission Mangal: ‘My film 2.0 had a budget of 500 crore, India’s Mars mission cost less than that’

Mission Mangal starred with Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Nithya Menen and Sharman Joshi, except Akshay Kumara. The film, based on India’s first Mars mission, made around 300 crore worldwide.

Vidya said during O Womaniya! 2022 Adda, hosted by Film Companion: “The pandemic has become an easy excuse for people to say that women-led movies now won’t work in the theaters because our industry is actually going through a kind of change where many of our movies are bombing , terrible. And it’s your so-called male hero-led movies. But who takes the beating are the female-led films. Don’t realize that Gangubai Kathiawadi had no one to take the lead, it was Alia Bhatt. That movie has done a lot compared to many other movies with male heroes. It’s very frustrating because there’s no logic to it.”

She added: “For example, even a movie like Mission Mangal, which did great business, will eventually be seen as an Akshay Kumar movie, which is a real shame. It’s not Akshay Kumar and five other protagonists, because we’re not seen as the film’s leaders in any way. But the story couldn’t be told with Akshay Kumar alone, and it wasn’t told with him alone. Someone talked to me about my latest hits, and they didn’t mention Mission Mangal, and they said, ‘Woh toh Akshay Kumar…’ and I thought, ‘Didn’t you see me and four other female actors?’”

Vidya made her acting debut with the popular comedy show Hum Paanch, before making her film debut with Parineeta in 2006. Over the years, the actor has carved out a niche with several successful female-led films, such as Kahaani, The Dirty Picture, Shakuntala Devi, Sherni and Jalsa. She has also participated in films such as Parineeta, Bhool Bhulaiyya and Halla Bol. Her recently released and critically acclaimed films include Shakuntala Devi, Sherni and Natkhat.


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