Manisha Koirala recalls actors lying about drinking alcohol, dating life as she reveals sexism in 90s Bollywood | Bollywood

Manisha Koirala has never hesitated to speak openly about her professional and personal experiences in Bollywood. In a recent interview with Filmfare, the actor revealed the sexism that prevailed in the Indian film industry during the 90s. Manisha disclosed how female actors were expected to deny drinking alcohol and conceal their dating life during that time. (Also read: Manisha Koirala meets Kamal Haasan; fans want them to reunite for a film again)

Manisha Koirala revealed about the 'sexism' prevalent in the 90s Bollywood.
Manisha Koirala revealed about the ‘sexism’ prevalent in the 90s Bollywood.

Manisha Koirala recalls lying about drinking vodka

Manisha, while recalling her experiences in the 90s told, “At the time of Saudagar, there was a coke mixed with vodka, and I was told by people around me not not tell people that I am drinking vodka because actresses are not meant to be drinking alcohol. I was told to say that I’m drinking coke. I learnt that new thing. I told my mom, ‘I am drinking coke’, and she knew I put vodka in it and she said, ‘Listen, if you are drinking vodka, say you are drinking vodka, don’t say you are drinking coke, don’t lie for such small little things’. If I was dating somebody, I am dating somebody. You want to judge me? Go ahead and judge me but that’s me, this is me and I lead my life on my own terms.”

Manisha Koirala reveals sexism in Bollywood

She further opined, “I faced some flak for it because in those days, the heroes could have many girlfriends, and they were called macho men, but the actress was supposed to be this, ‘no no no, nobody is touching me’ and ‘we are very untouched.’ It was also misunderstood that (she is) very easy or easy girl to you know… But I took it on my stride. Just because I have a personal life or I have a boyfriend doesn’t mean I am going to be unprofessional in my life. I love my work. We had some very warped value system for actresses, which didn’t go well with me.”

Manisha Koirala’s acting career

Manisha’s first acting project was the Nepali romantic-drama Pheri Bhetaula. She made her Bollywood debut with Subhash Ghai’s Saudagar (1991). She later appeared in popular Indian films such as Dhanwan (1993), 1942: A Love Story (1994), Bombay (1995), Agni Sakshi (1996), Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997), Dil Se.. (1998), and Company (2002). After a long break, Manisha made her comeback with the anthology film Lust Stories (2018) in Dibakar Banerjee’s segment. She also portrayed late actor Nargis Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju (2018). Her last theatrical release was Shehzada (2023), starring Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon. However, she has been praised for her debut on OTT with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar (2024), in which she played the character of a courtesan named Mallikajaan in the epic-drama series based on the Indian independence revolution of the 1920s-1940s. The show depicts the lives of courtesans and their power struggle with Nawabs and British officers in the red-light district of Heera Mandi in Lahore (now in Pakistan) during the pre-partition era.

The sequel to Heeramandi was announced by the producers a month ago. The series can be streamed on Netflix.

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