Everything that glitters is not really gold stands by the environment one faces in Bollywood. If you don't have a godfather in the industry then I['m sorry to put it this way but only God knows as to what you might have to go through. Talking about the same, Tanushree Dutta has been really making headlines after openly speaking about being harassed by a veteran actor on the sets of their movie. Now imagine, if that happens with established actresses then we can only pray for the people who are struggling each day to make a name for themselves in Bollywood!
We often hear about our A-lister celebrities and their struggle days but none of them really speak about the practice of casting couch in the industry. Only a handful of actors have bravely come forwarded to talk about this hideous act. People of all race come to Bollywood: the land of dreams and try their luck but some break under the demand of casting couch whereas, some don't compromise and move forward.
Though this practice is not much spoken of but we all know it exists. From Kalki Koechlin to Tisca Chopra and Ranveer Singh, many celebrities have accepted this practice exists and are willing to fight against it. So without further delay, let’s have a look at some of the big guns of Bollywood and their casting couch scandals:
But before we begin, I want to share the exact definition of 'casting couch'; apparently casting couch refers to a mentality in which directors and filmmakers take undue advantage and favor from aspiring film actors or actresses. The youngsters are provided with the filmy option in exchanged of sexual favors.
Talking about his casting couch experience, Ayushmann said, "I have been through that (casting couch) initially when I was part of the industry. I was a TV anchor, so a casting director directly told me that I would have to do it. So, I told him that if I was not straight, I might have given it a thought, but I can’t do it. So yeah, the casting couch exists, but eventually, it’s your talent or potential as an actor or performer which would last. You don’t need to give in to such stuff.” Known for movies like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Vicky Donor, Ayushmann is one of the finest actors of the young lot.
When it comes to breaking the stereotype, you think of Kalki. This gorgeous lady has never been afraid to say anything and when asked about her casting couch experience, Kalki confidently replied, “And while we are talking about the notorious casting couch, I must say, of course, it exists! It did try and entangle me in its grip but I am slippery, I always managed to get out of it. The minute I felt uncomfortable, I walked away! The crux of the matter is that a bad actor, however much she works her way through the casting couch, will never sustain. She still remains a bad actor! The casting couch is not the answer to any aspiring actor’s route to success.”
Yes, our very own Alauddin Khilji also has something to say in this matter. One of the most successful actors of this generation, Ranveer Singh did not shy away from sharing about the time when he was a victim of casting couch. However, Ranveer kept his principles above all and considered his talent superior; so he never compromised on such things. "Casting couch is a very real thing. I have experienced it first-hand," Ranveer said. This incident dates back when he used to work as an assistant director. As a newcomer, he was asked to meet a gentleman (identity not disclosed) at his Andheri home so Ranveer created an impressive portfolio. He needn't have bothered because the man "did not even look at it which means he wasn't interested in it at all. Later, I found out what he was interested in. He told me, 'You have to be smart. You have to be sexy. Jo smart hai, jo sexy hai, wo aage nikal jaata hai. When I said 'no' (to his demands), he cried like a jilted lover. Later, I got to know that he does it to everyone." Ranveer added.
Sacred Games actress Surveen Chawla had no such thing like a calkwalk to stand where she does today. Like every other commoner, she faced a lot of ups and downs to make it big in the industry. She has not only created a firm name for herself in the Indian television industry and Bollywood but her works are greatly spoken about in South as well. And that's where her casting couch experience comes from. Talking about it while working in a south film, Surveen said, “I’ve never faced such sleazy offers in the Hindi film industry. Maybe I’ve been smart in my dealings, making sure no one gets the wrong signal. This happened in Tamil cinema where I had already auditioned and bagged an important role. This was a very big film and a very important director, who couldn’t speak Hindi. So can you believe the man’s audacity! The director had his friend call and make the offer for me to sleep with the director. The friend told me it would only be until the film was made. I said, thanks but no thanks.”
I don't know why she hasn't won the most gorgeous woman award already! I mean, this woman does not age; she's flawless. Although she's given some fantastic performances in Firaaq and Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, she only found recognition after Taare Zameen Par. Unfortunately, Tisca had to see the ugly side of Bollywood too. A very popular director had offered her a role and Tisca, unknowingly that what will happen next, says yes to the opportunity. Little did she know, saying yes to work means saying yes to the director’s ‘bed squeeze’. "I want the script to penetrate every inch of your body," the director said to her and thankfully, Tisca got out in a very coy and smart way!
OUCH! Well, no body said it’s easy to make it big in Bollywood but nobody said that it’s going to be this ugly as well. I feel like the much recent Tanushree Dutta and Nana Patekar controversy, every woman should take a stand and speak up about such evil practices. #MeTooIndia