Is it important to be slotted as an actress? Answers Soni Razdan

Filmmakers were not as willing to experiment as they do today, says veteran actress Soni Razdan who feels she got "stuck" somewhere as she was as "different" as being a "grain in rice".Soni, who will soon be seen sharing screen space with her talented daughter Alia Bhatt in "Raazi", says though she is eager to do more work, she does not get offers often.She told IANS in an interview here: "I don't get any role. People do not come and offer me (roles). Maybe they don't think of me at all. Like my audience, even I wonder why I do not get offers more often. I think my career is of a big perception of critics."Once Alia became a successful actress, people started thinking that I am only travelling around the world with her. In my young days, people failed to slot me anywhere as an actress.""When I started, though I worked in some of the good films, in those days, the difference between the commercial cinema and art-house cinema was pretty distinct. The industry was ruled by beautiful actresses like Hema Malini and talents like Smita Patil among others. The fact is, I neither look as glamorous as a commercial heroine did back then nor like a conventional village girl of an art-house film."People were not ready to experiment as they do it today. So, I got stuck somewhere. I am very much of an Indian by heart. My mother is a German who was brought up in the UK. So, there is so much cross cultural exposure I had as a child. But Mumbai is my city. India is my country, and it fascinates me all the time to discover something new," she said.Asked if she is happy with her career as an artiste, Soni said: "I was really a very ambitious young girl when I started studying theatre and performing art. I love acting in films. I have done mostly what I wanted to do in life. However, I think I did not get the success that I thought I deserve and (was) capable of achieving."So, is it important to be slotted in genres? Scripts decide genres. Actors don't. Stars bring potential to the success of the film. So it requires a conceptual approach. So ideally it should be the script that should be the deciding factor. But, what if the actor or actress is a big star? The conventional wisdom being that having a name actor attached, one who has marquee appeal, will open doors to the financing and/or other elements needed to get the film made. This is so even though having stars attached does not ensure box office success. In fact, some of the most successful films have no stars in the entire cast. So, do stars really matter? Do producers really need to go through the trouble to cast big-name actors in their indie film?