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Far removed from the conventional Bollywood screen scorchers who have washboard abs and ooze oomph, talented actress Swara Bhaskar makes no bones about saying that getting toned arms continues to be one of the greatest challenges she faces as an actor. However, she maintains that a fit frame does not guarantee a good performance.
"Of course, we still love toned bodies... We all do. But the audience has moved away from the idea that a toned body or beautiful looking people can substitute for a good story, script or performances," Swara told IANS in an interview.
It is this that has led to a shift in the kind of actors getting a break in the film industry, which has for long been in the clutches of star kids, said the dusky beauty who recently clinched the Critics' Choice For Best Actress at Star Screen Awards 2016 for her impressive performance as a single mother in Nil Battey Sannata.
"Actors have moved away from it (the toned body obsession) and because of that, actors are coming from outside the fold of star children and models. People like me who come from completely normal backgrounds are coming to the industry which is now open to different faces and body types," said Swara, who has in the past spoken out uninhibitedly about how getting judged for looks is an occupational hazard many face in filmdom.
The daughter of well-known strategic analyst C. Uday Bhaskar and professor of film studies Ira Bhaskar feels with more space for fresh storytelling, the Indian movie industry is more accepting of people who don't suit the conventional.
"New stories are being told, so filmmakers need new faces, new actors, and new kind of skills. All in all, it's all paying off and we are seeing some fantastic content. And it's happening across India," Swara said.