While all may seem hunky-dory in the world of Bollywood, it isn't always the case. Particularly so if you are a newcomer. In an industry notorious for giving 'one chance or nothing', there are often cases where the powerful ask the newbies for favours of a different kind.
Yes, we're talking about something that the industry is infamous for: preying on the dreaming (and even desperate sometimes). Casting couch has now become synonymous with the industry dwellers, with some even deeming it necessary to get a foothold in tinsel town.
There have been several established superstars who've had to face (and rebuff) it when they were starting out.
Here a few actors who had to face casting couch in their careers:
Vicky Donor Ayushmann Khurrana is on a spree of giving back to back hits such as Article 15, Bala, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and many more. While directors and producers are now lined up outside his to sign him, there was a time when he struggled hard to get his first film.
During his initial days, he did face a horrific experience of casting couch and his journey hasn't been smooth. Talking about his experience, he disclosed, "A casting director had told me, 'I'll give you the lead role if you showed me your tool.' I told him I'm straight and I politely refused his offer."
The prodigy of Masti series Aftab Shivdasani Bollywood career is not that bright, yet his performance in some of the movies have been appreciated. Not many know that he also faced casting couch before his debut in Bollywood.
On the show Yaaron Ki Baraat he disclosed that "When I was not an actor and was doing music videos and modelling assignments, I visited a person who promised me a film. He used to call me late nights, kept me hanging."
"Later on, I realised that it's a hoax and stopped picking his calls. And the guy was a very well known personality and I can't name him here. I did meet him once or twice but later I stopped when his intentions became clear," added Aftab.
Bajirao of Bollywood Ranveer Singh might be ruling the box-office now but there was a time when Ranveer had to struggle to get his first break. Singh revealed about the atrocious casting couch that he had to face and said he was invited by a casting director to his home in Andheri. He described the man as "a highly sleazy gentleman" and said the man did not even look at his portfolio.
Ranveer said, "I had worked as an assistant director and I knew that there are no takers for a 500-page portfolio. Mine was very impressive and people were intrigued enough to at least take a look at it."
"He said you have to be smart, You have to be sexy. Jo smart hai jo sexy hai vo aage nikal jata hai. Kal main tumhe ye office mein bhejunga. Fir tum Mujhe kahoge, 'take.... touch..' and I was like in complete shock. And then he tried to negotiate with me. He said we won't do anything just let me touch it. He said ok ok I'll only see it. So I said No!," added Singh.
Raveena Tandon's Shaab fame Ashish Bisht, also face casting couch before he made his name in the industry. He said, "When I was struggling work I used to end up going for every audition, and once a producer called me to a shady place and his first question was Are you comfortable in bed?"
Remember the handsome hunk from Tum Bin. Yes, we are talking about the lead Priyanshu Chatterjee who have managed to win the hearts of girls in his movies. His Bollywood career is not that bright but he has managed to do some memorable roles.
Dil Ka Rishta fame Priyanshu also faced casting couch after his movie Tum Bin. He said he was offered a lead role in B Town against the sexual favour but he didn't accept the offer and waited till he got the role with his talents.