“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

Mumbai hospitals shut as more and more healthcare workers test positive

Maharashtra has emerged the epicentre of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the country with Mumbai reporting the highest number of cases in the state. With more and more healthcare providers getting infected, hospitals are becoming the hotbeds of virus perpetuation. On Monday Wockhardt hosp

As nation lighted lamps, power grid delivered

As Indians switched off lights in homes and lighted lamps and candles Sunday night following prime minister Narendra Modi’s appeal as a gesture of solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, the power grid held up well despite the sudden drop in demand. In a short video message on Friday

3 out of 4 Covid-19 patients in 21-60 yrs age group

Contrary to the perception that the elderly are more at risk from Covid-19, in India as many as 41.88% of corona positive cases are between 21 to 40 years of age. Also, 32.82% positive cases are between 41 to 60 years, followed by 16.69% cases above the age of 60 years and 8.61% coronavirus positive cases

Why everyone should wear mask

In view of the increasing number of COVID -19 cases in the country, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) has now advised that everyone must voluntarily wear a mask and especially those living in densely populated areas.   Not just as a matter of maintaining personal hygiene

Fighting Covid-19, India has realized its collective strength: PM

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, people of India have realized their collective strength, prime minister Narendra Modi said in a short video message Friday morning. He also urged people to light lamps Sunday night as a gesture of this collectivity. “Today marks nine days of the na

COVID-19 demobilisation: Lessons for public governance

Demobilization, like its predecessor – demonetization, is another decision gone bad in implementation.  In both instances a careful public administrative action through its governance systems could have saved the magnitude of impact particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the society. Th



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter