tv & movies

‘All female crew should become the norm’: Rytasha Rathore

Actor Rytasha Rathore discusses her experience working on the Netflix show ‘Masaba Masaba’

Rytasha Rathore confesses to have binge-watched Indian Matchmaking on Netflix.

While the show split opinions for its portrayal of the culture of arranged marriage, Rytasha makes no bones about the fact that the show in itself was not problematic. “It reflected the reality we live in and the stereotypes that the show pushed should serve as an eye-opener to the way things are,” she says.

Breaking stereotypes is what Rytasha, who is popular on social media, has been relatively successful in doing. Through her Instagram posts, the actor has consistently promoted body positivity posts.

“I had no idea that my regular life would be a cause for inspiration to young women who felt uncomfortable in their bodies,” says Rytasha, who is someone the fashion industry would categorise as a plus size model.

Rytasha Rathore
 
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

“It was heartening to get responses from women who told me that they couldn’t find the confidence to wear a bathing suit or a bikini, and then they would share a photo of them wearing it for the first time after seeing my posts,” she adds.

Rytasha shot to prominence with a starring role in TV soap Badho Bahu. She now stars alongside fashion designer Masaba Gupta (in her debut acting role) in the Netflix comedy drama, Masaba Masaba. “My character is Gia Irani. She is Masaba’s best friend on the show and it is a role that is familiar to me in real life: an open-minded, strong and independent city girl.”

Rytasha with Masaba Gupta (L) while filming ‘Masaba Masaba’
 
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The crew behind Masaba Masaba is all female, a rarity for an Indian production. “Sonam [Nair], our director, is one of the coolest people I have met. Our industry definitely needs more female filmmakers,” she says, adding that she hopes to be a part of the future when instances of female filmmakers helming a project or an all-female team is not seen as an exceptional case but part of the norm.

Rytasha, who holds a degree in Acting and is also a podcast host (Agla Station Adulthood), has another project for a digital streaming platform that has been postponed due to the pandemic outbreak.

She knows young actors like her have the odds stacked against them, often having to fight gender and body stereotypes imposed by the film industry by themselves as most mainstream projects still factor in appearances over substance while sketching characters.

“An actor’s job may look wonderful but it is not the easiest job. I entered the industry knowing fully well of the hardships that lay ahead but I also know that I am a good actor. I take pride in my craft. So, I won’t ever feel ashamed if I have to ask for work,” she adds.

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