International Men’s Day is observed every 19th of November to raise awareness and promote mental health support for men. With a focus on health, improved gender relations, gender equality promotion, and the recognition of male role models, International Men’s Day strives to illuminate various aspects of the male experience. Actor Romanch Mehta, known for his roles in ‘Kulfi Kumar Bajewala’ and ‘Kabhi Kabhie Ittefaq Sey,’ opened up about the importance of Men’s Day, changes in the industry’s approach to portraying male characters, traditional notions of masculinity and more.
Romanch discusses positive changes in breaking stereotypes around masculinity, emphasizing shifts in perspectives over the past decade. He highlights “Back then, we had a lot of stereotypes, like the belief that household chores were solely a woman’s responsibility, or that men should be the sole financial providers for their families.
There was a rigid view that certain tasks, especially physically demanding ones or high-profile jobs like being a pilot, were reserved for men. However, times have changed. Our perspectives on fertility, everyday life, and even in the entertainment industry have evolved. We often discuss these changes in our shows and films, acknowledging the shifting perceptions of both the general public and our industry.
These changes are crucial, especially in promoting positive aspects of equality. While we celebrate international events, the focus remains on fostering equality. I believe our industry plays a role in changing global perceptions, and we fondly discuss topics that were once considered unchanged.”
He added, “Despite these positive shifts, it’s important to remember that true equality extends to our personal lives. Respecting our girlfriends, wives, mothers, and sisters is paramount. If a city doesn’t limit your ability to thrive, there shouldn’t be serious concerns.
Being manly isn’t confined to certain roles; it’s about supporting your partner and granting them the space they need. In my opinion, allowing freedom and independence, particularly for women, represents a positive change that the industry is embracing.
People’s perceptions are transforming, and it’s essential to support these shifts towards a more equal and respectful society.”
When addressing roles that challenge traditional masculinity, Romanch acknowledges the complexity of playing divorced or negative characters. He added, “Playing divorced characters or portraying negative roles can be quite challenging. There are various hurdles in accurately depicting a negative character, considering the impact it may have on society.
As actors, it’s our responsibility to bring authenticity to these roles, even if they are perceived negatively. Preparing for such roles involves understanding the character deeply, grasping their behavior patterns, and portraying them convincingly. It’s a process that demands significant preparation.
In terms of real-life impact, I don’t believe playing certain characters on screen changes how we are perceived in the media. Portraying a character in a movie or TV show is a different aspect, and being real in everyday life is entirely distinct. The characters we play shouldn’t alter public opinion about us in real life”
“Ultimately, I believe our real-life contributions and presence carry more weight than our on-screen roles. What we do in real life matters more and has a more significant impact than the characters we portray in movies or television. The representation and changes in a person’s life or how they are perceived by the media are not likely to be influenced by the roles we play on screen,” he concluded”
Reflecting on clashes between industry expectations and personal beliefs, Romanch acknowledges verbal disagreements on sets. He stresses, “A healthy sense of respect for women is vital. Politeness, honesty, self-grooming, focus, and sharpness are qualities I value. Equality for everyone is important to me, whether it’s for males or females.
Supporting others with the same quality and fairness matters most. Occasionally, there might be a clash of beliefs, just a war of words, but everyone has their own thought process. These clashes might get better with time.”
On International Men’s Day, Romanch extends wishes for happiness and a positive environment. “Men are often seen as strong, not showing emotions, but deep down, many are emotional. It’s important to have a positive conversation about manhood. I want to extend my wishes to all incredible men worldwide on this International Men’s Day.
Spread your positivity at home, with your family, and at your workplace. Inspiration starts at home and can create a positive environment that extends to the community. Every man faces obstacles, whether in family life or personal growth.
Special individuals overcome these challenges remarkably well. I wish every man a happy International Men’s Day and an incredible, beautiful life,” he concludes.
Talking about his professional commitments, Romanch Mehta has recently wrapped up shooting for the web series ‘Bhagin,’ featuring a stellar cast including Aneri Vajani, Ansh Bagri, Krip Suri, Zeeshan Khan, Mridula Oberoi, Iqbal Azad, Khushi Mishra, and Dolphin Dubey in pivotal roles. The release date and trailer for the web series are expected to be unveiled soon.