Television actor Kishwer Merchantt has opened up about casting couch in Bollywood and how she was affected by it. The actor has worked in two Bollywood movies – ‘Bheja Fry 2’ and ‘Hum Tum aur Shabana’ and has now shared details about how she was asked to ‘sleep with a hero’ who was a ‘big name’ in the industry.
In an interaction with Times of India, she said, “It happened with me when I had gone for a meeting- but just once. My mother was accompanying me. I was told that I’ll have to sleep with the hero. I politely turned down the offer and we left. I wouldn’t say ki ye bahut hota hai or it’s a normal thing. Industry badnaam hai lekin har industry mein ye cheez hoti hai (The industry is infamous, but this happens in every industry).” She also added that ‘very big names’ were involved in this scenario.
Kishwer, however feels that the distressing experience of casting couch was not what kept her away from Bollywood.
“I was very focused at work. I was more inclined towards TV. I kept getting work in quality and quantity. All said and done, I am very happy with the way my career shaped up. I stuck more to TV because I think it gives you more recognition. Small roles in films serve no purpose,” she added.
When asked if she tried hard to enter Bollywood in the early stage, the actor said, “I did go for meetings but somehow I knew that I didn’t have a Bollywood face and wasn’t good at dancing. Plus, I wasn’t comfortable wearing a bikini. After marriage, thoda freedom mila hai toh faida uthaya jaata hai. But I think TV was clean work.”