India’s Milind Soman says he’s always been ‘objectified’

Bollywood actor, model and fitness enthusiast, Milind Soman, in his recent interaction with The Indian Express, opened up about his fitness mantra and feelings towards being India’s “sex symbol”. He also confessed that he has always been “objectified” but assured that he isn’t bothered by it.

First thing first, contrary to popular belief, Milind does not do anything special to get into shape, except fight laziness. He urges others to do the same. “It’s a little twisted, I like to be fit because I am lazy. One thing that stops everyone from taking their first step is laziness — especially after the pandemic,” he shared with the outlet. Despite being lazy, Milind has always maintained himself because he’s so used to being fit. “I have always been fit because I started swimming at the age of nine. I was also national champion. Even when I started modelling, I was super fit. I didn’t want to lose that feeling. I don’t do anything special — I exercise ten or fifteen minutes a day. I don’t take supplements; I eat regular food. Dal and khichdi. I like to be fit.”

Due to his ultra-fit appearance, though, Milind has often been cast in “sexy” roles and according to him, “objectified,” but that doesn’t bother him. “Oh, I am not uncomfortable at all, it’s my USP (Unique Selling Point),” he assured, laughing. “Okay seriously, you have to know what are your strengths. It’s a business. If I’m uncomfortable with being a sex symbol, and being objectified, which I have been, right from the beginning of my career, then I shouldn’t be here,” Milind added, in all honesty.

“I was not bothered or uncomfortable with it, I was surprised, yes. I just did a music video, a song called Shringaar, and I don’t know why they called me — and it is an objectification of the male persona, and I don’t know why they took me at the age of fifty, and not someone at the age of twenty.”

About his 2020 beach photos, which furthered this image of his, Milind commented, “I didn’t think twice. What am I doing, I’m running on the beach, big deal? When I did my first nude photoshoot, it was shot in Delhi—in the forest—and I was just walking around naked, and we were just taking pictures. Even after that, I could still do the nude photoshoot by the beach, and I know it’s nothing serious. Some people may object, some people might appreciate. It’s human nature, everyone can’t like everything.”

As for projects in the pipeline, Milind shared, “I’m working on a couple of projects. I did a film last year, but I don’t know what happened to it. Maybe it’ll come out next year. I have two other films and I have an OTT show. I’ve actually never taken any breaks, it’s the way I work. Whenever there’s work, I do it. I did two seasons of Four More Shots Please, and I did another show called Paurashpur, as well as Masaba Masaba. I did Metro Park.

About playing a gynecologist in Four More Shots Please, Milind shared, “People asked me how I prepare for the role, I said I didn’t prepare for the role, I’m a person. I could be anybody?” If anything, the actor does not wish to be the same person over and over again.

“As an actor, I don’t want to do the same thing. A lot of people want you to do that. Now, because of OTT, audience is getting more demanding. It’s not a fear, but I don’t take up things I feel I’ve done before. So many people, even though they’re in the creative field, they have no imagination. I just wait for them to imagine me in a different role. For Paurashpur, they came to me with the role of the king, I said no. It’s too expected. They kept coming to me for six months, and then I saw a character of a eunuch. I asked, why can’t I play this? They were rather surprised, but I want to do things I have never done before,” he asserted.

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