“A casting director said if I become his girlfriend, he will flood me with good roles”

TV actress Leena Acharya narrates her #MeToo ordeal

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | October 15, 2018 | Mumbai


#time up   #women safety   #Tanushree Dutta   #MJ Akbar   #molestation   #office harassment   #sexual harassment   #MeToo   #Leena Acharya  
Leena Acharya
Leena Acharya

I have been in the television industry for four years now. A director once said to me, “You have the looks but you have not done work that gives you recognition.” He said that if I join hands with him life will be easy and I will not have to go for audition anywhere. I told him to back off and never spoke to him again. 

Many young girls who come into the industry are not prepared for the struggle and want things easy. Once I was called for a movie audition at Costa Coffee. I felt weird about the location. The production girl there asked me if I liked my work and if was willing to ‘compromise’ with the coordinator, director and producer. I left the place. At another time a casting director suggested if I become his girlfriend, he will flood me with good roles and branded clothes.

 
 
 
 
Casting directors make tall promises to girls who often think they wield influence in casting for the lead roles. Girls entering the industry have an impression that close proximity with casting directors will get them roles. But their job is to only provide options for roles. It is the collective decision of the production house and channel heads to cast for important roles. Nowadays multiple casting directors are engaged to provide casting options for roles.
 
I am satisfied with work on hand. At present, I have a good role in the serial, ‘Perfect Pati’. Many of my friends are sitting without work despite their struggle for years. Others have struggled for a long time before they landed in good roles. It takes a few years in the industry to realise who or what holds water.
 
South Indian and Bhojpuri film industries are notorious for casting couch. Once I was called to audition a ‘hot’ scene for a mother’s role in a Bhojpuri film! At another time when my roommate was called to audition for a Bhojpuri film she was asked to compromise to get the role.
 
Comparatively, the television and fashion industries are safe for women and very unsafe for men and gays. They are badly harassed. My male friends often share their casting couch experiences. My friend Nikhil who had come here from Dubai to try his luck in acting was propositioned by a casting director with the promise that he will get only lead roles. But by the end of it he was so frustrated that he went back to Dubai.       
 
As told to Geetanjali Minhas

(The article appears in October 31, 2018 edition)

Comments

 

Other News

“If the oppn is weak you can’t blame the govt for that”

A three-term Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is the Shiv Sena spokesperson and its voice in parliament. He is also the executive editor of Marathi newspaper Samana, started by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Raut spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on his party’s seat-sharing agreement

Ashish Shelar of BJP says, “We are very confident of victory”

Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with

Nobel for economics goes to `global fight against poverty`

The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc

Modi-Xi script a new chapter in bilateral relations

Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t

Dharma as the original Idea of India

Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.

Prakash Ambedkar on why he wants other parties to mention the candidates’ community

Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and popularly known as Balasaheb Ambedkar, heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The three-time MP founded this new political party last year with a vision of Ambedkarism, secularism, socialism and progressivism. The VBA, registered this year before the Lo



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter