Mumbai: 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 others.
"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."
Born to a German woman and a Kashmiri man, Soni grew up in Mumbai. She says she has culturally deep roots in India.
"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.
The actress underwent formal education in theatre. Asked if she is satisfied with her career as an artiste, Soni said: "I was really a very ambitious young girl when I started studying drama 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."
"I wanted to work in the Hindi film industry much more than what I was offered. But if you are a grain of rice in a wheat field, it is not your fault... You are just different. That's what exactly has happened to me. I was different in my time."
The actress has been a part of films like "36 Chowringhee Lane", "Mandi", "Trikaal", "Monsoon Wedding", "Page 3" and "Patiala House" to name a few.
In the forthcoming thriller spy drama "Raazi", releasing on Friday, Soni will essay reel mother to her real-life daughter Alia.
Describing it as a nice and emotional experience, she said: "I am very proud to be associated with the film because it is a very good story that the world should experience.
"I shot in Kashmir and during those days, I had some intense scenes to shoot. I was much focussed. Though it sounds like a mother-daughter having a great time together, it was actually not the same. But yes, after the shooting got over, we had a great time of food and quality time. We spent it well."