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Zeenat Aman opens up on her sensual role in Satyam Shivam Sundaram: 'My look was termed obscene'

Veteran actor Zeenat Aman shared a throwback picture from her classic movie 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' and opened up about facing criticism for her sensual role. She penned a long note about her experience.

Aparupa Devnath Written By: Aparupa Devnath New Delhi Published on: February 16, 2023 18:56 IST
Zeenat Aman
Image Source : INSTAGRAM/@THEZEENATAMAN Zeenat Aman Instagram upload

The legendary actor of Bollywood, Zeenat Aman has been always known for her out-of-the-box roles and bold avatars. 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' is one of such movie in which Zeenat took the entire Bollywood to next level. The classic cult film starring Shashi Kapoor was one of the biggest hits in Bollywood. Released in 1978, Zeenat appeared in the bold and sensual role of Rupa in the movie and during that time it was a really big deal to don such a bold character.

Zeenat who just made her debut on Instagram a few days ago shared a rare photo and penned a long note about facing criticism for the role. In the picture, Zeenat is seen wearing a deep-neck blouse, and sitting down with a smiling face. She wrote in the caption, "This picture was taken by photographer J P Singhal during a look test for Satyam Shivam Sundaram around 1977. We shot the series at RK Studios, and my costumes were designed by Oscar-winner Bhanu Athaiya."

She further added, "Anyone acquainted with the history of Bollywood will know that there was much controversy and brouhaha about my character Rupa in Satyam Shivam Sundaram. I was always quite amused by the accusations of obscenity as I did not and do not find anything obscene about the human body. I am a director’s actor and these looks were part of my job. Rupa’s sensuality was not the crux of the plot, but a part of it. As it is, the set is not even remotely a sensual space. Every move is choreographed, rehearsed and performed in front of dozens of crew members."

"Director Raj Kapoor (Rajji) had brought me on board the film but was concerned about my “western” image. He was unsure whether the audience would accept me in this avatar, and so conducted this look test. Later, on the basis of this test, we shot a small reel picturised on Lata ji’s famous song ‘Jaago Mohan Pyare’ from the 1956 film Jagte Raho. Rajji held a screening of the reel at R K Studios to gauge the response of his distributors to me in this role. After that first screening, the rights for all territories were immediately sold", the post read further.

Zeenat Aman, the former beauty queen made her acting debut with The Evil Within (1970) alongside Dev Anand. She went on to star in many films, such as Hulchul, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Yaadon Ki Baaraat and many more on the list.

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