The casting couch exists, says Ranveer Singh as he recounts his shocking experience
You don't usually hear casting couch stories being aired publicly, especially in Bollywood.
But Ranveer Singh isn't afraid of speaking out.
'Casting couch' is a term used to describe the exploitation of aspiring actors at the hands of relatively more powerful directors or producers.
In a short interview with NDTV, Ranveer didn't hold back when he was asked about the existence of a casting couch scene in Bollywood. The actor came forward to share his own experience when asked to negotiate terms for a movie.
Narrating the incident, Ranveer said that the casting couch definitely exists: "There was a very sleazy gentleman in the northern suburbs and he called me over to his house."
He added that when he handed the man his portfolio, the casting director didn't even look at it and instead turned to him and said: "You have to be smart, you have to be sexy, those who are both succeed."
He then asked for a sexual favour from Ranveer. Although Ranveer refused him straight away, it was later known that the person would ask for similar favours from many struggling actors.
Another actor, Tisca Chopra has also been vocal about this issue and she too asserted that both men and women face such dilemmas: "It's a question of supply and demand. The supply of actors is far greater than their demand and so the directors and producers demand something extra for giving chances to aspirants," she said at the launch of her book Acting Smart earlier this year.
The film Khoya Khoya Chand released in 2007 addressed this issue, where the lead actor Soha Ali Khan had to go through many such instances.