There's no secret that casting couch is prevalent in the Hindi film industry. Last year, many actresses had come out with their horrific experiences of sexual advances and named top filmmakers and producers during the MeToo wave in India. And now for the very first time, Surveen Chawla has also opened up about facing casting couch not just once or twice but five times in her career till date.
When Surveen started off her acting career with daily soaps, it was kind of a cakewalk for her. But her real struggle started when she decided to make a transition into South films around 2010. She faced many roadblocks on her way despite being a popular face in the industry.
The first time when she tried her hands on South films, she was told that she was overweight at 56 kilos and that came as a shocking thing for her. The next thing she was told that she was way too exposed she had done television so they can't give her job.
There came a point where Surveen had to lie about her own work by reducing her work experience. But eventually, it clicked her which prompted her to be honest with herself while telling that she had done this amount of work in television.
But her biggest blow came when Surveen began exploring the South film industry. There were three times when she had to face the casting couch. She recalled in an interview with Pinkvilla that there was director who had asked her to accompany her for a film recee and told her, "We have language problem. I want to know every inch of your body." And every time it happened, it was a major setback for her.
She also revealed that a National award winning director, through his associates, threw an offer to work with him and be with him so as to know about her just till the completion of the film. She knew what was coming her way and told him that she would like to work with him only on her merit and not on barter terms. She was supposed to do two films with him, one his own directorial and the other wherein he was acting in it. And, obviously, it didn't happen.
Surveen then recalled about she had also faced the situation with two big Bollywood filmmakers, who were also named in the MeToo wave, last year. "A director wanted to see how my cleavage looked. Another director wanted to see how my thighs looked," she said.