10 Bollywood Actresses Who Faced Casting Couch Experiences
Our very own Bollywood Industry is well-known for all its glamour and grandeur of promising actors and actresses, but what falls under this glittering umbrella is clearly not that glamorous, and this dark truth remains buried to withstand the aura and reputation that the industry holds.
The last few years have witnessed an exponential increase in the number of actors and actresses from the Bollywood industry coming out and sharing the horrifying incidents in their life of being sexually harassed by their filmmakers, directors, or actors they were cast opposite. New aspiring actors usually fall prey to incidents like this and further get exploited throughout their careers due to the enormous variance in the power structure that lies in the Bollywood industry.
The sheer courage and fearlessness the actors and actresses have shown by spitting out the actual reality of the industry are a class apart; exposing big names the industry worships. Here is a list of top 10 Bollywood Actresses Who Faced Casting Couch Experiences:
- Kalki Koechlin
Kalki Koechlin is one of the renowned performers in tinsel town and has succeeded in carving a niche for herself through perseverance and hard work. The gifted actress originally gained attention for her role in Dev D. Following that, Kalki worked on other movies, including Gully Boy, That Girl in Yellow Boots, Margarita with a Straw, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. She has received praise and recognition for her performances, including a National Award and movie awards.
Kalki spoke up about her hardships in Bollywood and her experience with the casting couch which made her stand up for herself. When recalling her time on the casting couch, Kalki disclosed a moment when the producer of the movie she was auditioning for asked her out on a date.
According to Kalki, she refused to accompany him because she was seeing someone at the time. After that, the Gully Boy heroine stated that the production company never called her to inquire about the part of the movie.Kalki further mentioned that when she visited Hollywood, she too received inconsiderate comments. Even recalling sexual assault incidents, the actress admitted, “I have experienced sexual assault and I first unveiled about it to my therapist and to my then partner.
- Surveen Chawla
With Kahiin To Hoga, which Surveen remembers to be a “cakewalk,” Ekta Kapoor’s show, Surveen had a successful debut in the television industry. However, the rest of the journey was not without its bumps. Working in the southern industry shook the actress to the core, the actress remarked, “I three times faced the casting couch. I remember being asked to go on a recce with a film director, and being informed, “I want to know every inch of your body.” From that time onwards, I just started ignoring calls”.
Adding to these, there was another incredibly prominent director from the South who had won a National Award. There, Surveen quotes “My audition went on for an entire shift. I left after the audition since I wasn’t feeling good. Then, upon hearing that I was ill, the director out of the blue offered to fly to Mumbai. It was quite unsettling to me, so I declined”.
As the actress was not on terms with the director, she was filled in by some common friend. On the phone, that friend told her that “sir” wants to get to know and understand the actress because making this movie would take a lot of time. Then he abruptly changed his tone to “until the film and then you can stop”. The response to which by the actress was “You are knocking on the wrong door, I’m still interested if you think I’m talented, sir”.
On delving deep into the theory of casting couch experiences in the Hindi film industry. She said, “One filmmaker wants to see how my cleavage looks, and one filmmaker wants to see how my legs look. I had to stomp out of an office because someone tried to infer an act, and I will never do that. Things like this do occur. When asked about her experience with body shame, Surveen mentioned the time she was called overweight. She added “I was just 56 kilograms, “I believed that person needed glasses.”
She further adds how she was criticized for appearing on television when conducting auditions in the South and was dubbed “overexposed.” She mentioned how she even considered deceiving producers about her working history in the industry and finally decided to claim that she had only been working for a year.
- Tiska Chopra The actor discusses her tryst with the casting couch and how she was able to leave it in a lighthearted manner. The 42-year-old actress Tisca Chopra made a name for herself in the industry by appearing in films like Taare Zameen Par, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, and Main Aur Charles. While many actresses opt to keep quiet about this appalling fact, Tisca made the decision to open up.
The events of the story took place while she was a complete unknown in the field. She refers to the casting couch filmmaker as “Reptile,” and says that when her date schedule paralled a desolate wasteland, “Reptile” approached her with an expensive film offer. Despite the fact that a few of her acquaintances had forewarned her about the director’s “associations.”
- Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut is renowned for speaking her mind without remorse. Kangana raised her voice on the Bollywood casting couch and the pressure placed on female actors. Despite being a renowned actress, she asserted that in order to be in a movie, a person must please an actor or director.
She also talked about the people she interacted within the industry, claiming that many actors, superstars, A-listers, and Big Superstars desperately want romantic relationships with the actresses they work with.
Speaking about it, Kangana told the TV station that while she doesn’t want to generalize the profession, but everyone she encountered expected women to behave like their partners on the film sets.
- Prachi Desai According to Prachi Desai, she was urged to make concessions in exchange for a part in a “major picture,” but she refused. She stated that she later spoke with the director.
In order to get cast in a “major picture,” Prachi Desai mentions that she was approached for sexual favors, but she refused to comply. She continued by saying that the director had called even after she had rejected the proposal and had reaffirmed her position. Prachi made her acting debut in 2006 with the hit program Kasamh Se, in which she co-starred with Ram Kapoor in the lead role. She made the switch to film in 2008 with Rock On and further acted in movies like Bol Bachchan and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai.
Prachi mentioned taking on fewer projects since she didn’t want to work on similar projects. The actress believes that there is pressure to be on the screen and even to pay bills, but she insisted that she has resisted giving in to it. “Had I given in to that pressure, I would have accepted every offer that was made to me.
Many of the parts in movies that I was offered had excellent filmmakers and stories, but I thought they wouldn’t help me in any way. My career benefited nothing from the roles, so I had to let those movies go. It ignites from a place of mental fortitude and clarity of purpose. Being in the spotlight wasn’t my desire because I avoid it anyway”.
- Radhika Apte
Describing her frightening incident, the versatile actress quoted “I am aware of a lot of casting couch cases and personally know people who have been a victim of it, I honestly haven’t gone through it. You see, I’m lucky that I’ve never encountered anyone who has requested it.”
Radhika first responded in that way, but when she continued to discuss the situation, she had the following to say: “Once a South Indian actor, I remember called me and tried to get amorous, and I acted and behaved terribly to him. Later, I believe we got into a fight and have never received an inappropriate request from him.”
- Swara Bhaskar
When asked if Swara had ever sat on the casting couch, she recalled an incident in which a man who was a manager of a major producer—kept questioning Swara about her home address. Swara was making every effort to leave the meeting as it was beginning to take an odd turn.
The man made an attempt to kiss her as she exited the meeting. In her memory, Swara stated, “When I came out, this guy actually attempted to kiss my ear and said, ‘I love you baby,’ and I kind of did that (gestures squirm away), so he got a mouthful of my hair, so I was just like, yess that type of stuff happens. I guess it’s all part of the casting couch.
Swara in her earlier interviews talks about being harassed and hounded by a filmmaker when the actor was just starting out in the business. She further added, “He contacted me all night and stalked me during the day. To discuss the scenes of the film, I was told to visit his hotel room where I witness him drinking. He started discussing love and sex during the first week itself, and one night he showed up in my room drunk, and begged for a hug. It was horrible.
- Aditi Rao Hydari
The actress from Kaatru Veliyidai spoke about the subject in the past, but there was less gossip about it than there is now.
Aditi Rao Hydari did not shy away from speaking about the problem, which continues to plague the global film industry, after almost completing a decade in the industry. Aditi rejected those offensive and improper requests initially, which of why she used to lose her job. However, she never regretted standing up for what she believed in, for rebelling against the incidents that made her cry for so long.
According to the actress’ statement on the website, “I was like, how dare someone to speak to me like that! I had no job for about eight months, and that decision was the driving force that helped me carry off the kind of work I wanted to perform since day 1.”
In 2013 when my father died it was a very rough year for me and my family, but starting in 2014, situations came under control. Sometimes you have to confront an issue head-on, go past it, and feel completely at ease with it.
- Sameera Reddy
While talking about casting couch, Sameera admits, “As I was working on this movie, I was quite hastily told that a kissing scene would be included. I didn’t like it because it wasn’t there before”, she responded. The filmmaker came with an answer saying, I should be okay doing it because I had already done it in my other films like Musafir, But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll keep doing it,” He then said, “Please handle this carefully, but keep in mind that you are replaceable.”
Another came from a male Bollywood star who played a significant role in one of her movies. “You are so distant, You’re no fun, he said, calling me uninteresting. I’m not sure if I ever want to work with you again, he added. After that movie, I never again collaborated with him.”
Despite the fact that this has been the industry’s regrettable state of affairs for some time, A defense mechanism is necessary to protect actresses from these vultures, stated the actress.
- Richa Chadha
One of Bollywood’s most adaptable actresses is Richa Chaddha. She has never been afraid to try new things on camera, from playing Nagma Khatoon in Gangs of Wasseypur to Bholi Punjaban in the Fukrey movies. However, the actress who traveled to Cannes for the 2015 movie Masaan did not have it easy.
Richa described a situation in which at first she could not recognize that someone was making approaches toward her. “I could not understand it a few times. I was very young and naive. Once a man approached me and said, “We should have supper,” in a seductive manner. Unable to understand, I said, “I’ve eaten dinner,” but he persisted. Even after I had established myself as an actor, it still happened to me. This is what we have to deal with on an everyday basis, especially after the results of MeToo or what is going on right now. This has probably caused me to lose a number of projects, but it doesn’t matter to an actor.
The actress talked openly about other problems she had to deal with throughout her profession. She described a terrifying event in which she received a call from a casting director asking her to play Hrithik Roshan’s mother in Agneepath. She continued by saying that she had given a befitting response to the casting director.