She has been in the industry for almost 66 years; ask her what she thinks about this illustrious run, actor Shubha Khote, humbly says, “I think I’ve done well.”
Her passion for her craft is such that even Covid-19 couldn’t stop the 84-year-old from traveling to different parts of the country. She says her last Marathi movie, Luck down Be Positive was one such project. “It was such a good role, I couldn’t say no to it. My character was better than the heroine’s,” she shares. Although Khote’s father was Maharashtrian, she recalls only doing a handful of almost five Marathi films in her 66-year-long career. “I’m not biased towards the language. I only look for good roles, even money is secondary,” she adds.
Ask her what’s it like to be a part of a Marathi film and pat comes her reply, “It’s difficult. Normally I can speak Marathi but when others are speaking so fluently, I fumble. But I used to study the script a day before and then only head to the sets.” It’s this discipline that Khote credits for keeping her relevant for almost seven decades. “I give my best performance, I’m very disciplined and particular about my work. (Essentially) I’m a good human being (laughs),” she quips.
After being in the industry for so many years, Khote believes that the industry has “progressed”. “Technically we have advanced a lot. Dubbing and shooting have become so easy,” she says. However, she also adds, “(But) The black and white films in those days were much better than a lot of films that are made today. They had story, content, and charm. These days you don’t have any music that will have a lasting impression on you.”
After working with the “best directors from the black and white era” and delivering almost “90% golden jubilees”, Khote still doesn’t believe she is a star. “I will never be able to work then, I wouldn’t have lasted that long if I believed I’m a star,” she mentions. But do these young actors throw starry tantrums? “Mere saamne toh koi starry behave nahi karta hai. Yes, I’ve heard a lot about some actors coming late, someone arguing, and all. Yes, there are actors who are on their phones. And I think that’s disrespectful. I never take my mobile on sets,” she ends.