Bollywood shows solidarity with Urmila Matondkar after Kangana Ranaut’s comment

Many actors and filmmakers from the industry praised Urmila Matondkar’s vast body of work after Kangana Ranaut controversially termed her a “soft porn star.”

Updated - September 18, 2020 12:19 pm IST

Published - September 18, 2020 12:12 pm IST

Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar at her first election campaign in Borivali West in Mumbai on March 29, 2019

Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar at her first election campaign in Borivali West in Mumbai on March 29, 2019

Many actors and filmmakers from the industry, including Ram Gopal Varma, Swara Bhasker and Pooja Bhatt on Thursday praised Urmila Matondkar’s vast body of work after Kangana Ranaut controversially slammed the “Satya” star as a “soft porn star”.

Matondkar had called out Ranaut’s claims about nepotism in the industry and Bollywood being riddled with a drug problem.

In an interview on Wednesday night, Ranaut called her a “soft porn star” who is not known for her acting.

Ranaut’s comments were met with criticism from the industry, with many hailing Matondkar’s consistent “grace and dignity” throughout her career of over 25 years.

Varma, who has worked with Matondkar in many acclaimed films like “Rangeela”, “Satya” and “Bhoot”, said the 46-year-old actor has proved her talent time and again.

“Not wanting to get into slinging matches with anyone, I believe that @UrmilaMatondkar has more than proved her versatile talent in enacting such diversely complex roles as in ‘Rangeela’, ‘Satya’, ‘Kaun’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Ek Haseena Thi’”

Bhasker tweeted a list of “outstanding performances” of Matondkar, right from her debut as a child actor in “Masoom”, to Sriram Raghavan’s “Ek Hasina Thi” in 2004 and said she has always marvelled the actor.

“Dear @UrmilaMatondkar ji, remembering ur outstanding performances in ‘Masoom’, ‘Chamatkaar’, ‘Rangeela’, ‘Judaai’, ‘Daud’, ‘Satya’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Kaun’, ‘Jungle’, ‘Pyaar Tuney Kya Kiya’, ‘Tehzeeb’, ‘Pinjar’, ‘Ek Hasina Thi’ among others and have marvelled at your acting chops and brilliant dancing! Love you.”

Anubhav Sinha said Matondkar was one of the most “beautiful, elegant, evocative, expressive” actors ever.

“Sending you love @UrmilaMatondkar,” the “Thappad” director tweeted.

Ranaut, who has been in the headlines for her provocative statements, claimed that the “liberal brigade” was falsely equating being a porn star to “something derogatory.”

The actor said she fails to understand the outrage since the former porn star was “accepted” by the country at large.

“Liberal brigade once virtually lynched a renowned writer in to silence for saying people like Sunny Leone should not be our role models, Sunny is accepted by the industry and entire India as an artist, suddenly fake feminists equating being a porn star to something derogatory,” Ranaut said.

Others in the fraternity also came out in support of Matondkar, including actors Pooja Bhatt, Sayani Gupta and screenwriter Kanika Dhillon.

Calling Matondkar a “legend”, Bhatt said with her performance in “Rangeela”, the actor had “raised the bar” for all her contemporaries.

“You left us all, co-actors and an entire generation of movie goers, awestruck! Sensuality and dignity. Two qualities you combined and embodied. Respect,” Bhatt tweeted.

Ranaut’s comments about Matondkar come a day after she criticised veteran actor and Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan for raising her voice in the House against those defaming the Hindi film industry.

Writer Kanika Dhillon said both, Bachchan and Matondkar, should be lauded for their graceful conduct.

“Amidst all the madness -appreciation tweet for #JayaBachchan Ji and @UrmilaMatondkar for speaking out and shining through with grace and dignity and showing how women in the industry can lead, protest and conduct themselves gracefully without vilifying others all at the same time! #WomenOfCourage,” she added.

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