Bollywood actress Zareen Khan made her Debut opposite superstar Salman Khan in ‘Veer’, and since then has worked in several hit films like ‘Houseful 2’ and ‘Hate Story 3’. The actress has now opened up about casting couch in the film industry.
In an interaction with Pinkvilla, Zareen revealed that she experienced casting couch first hand when she was asked to do a kissing scene as a rehearsal. The said person also tried to lure Zareen into being ‘more than friends’ in order for her to get lead roles.
“I don’t wanna be naming people, in the whole pretext of trying to rehearse a scene, the other person is like you have to let go of your inhibitions, and at time I was relatively very new, so I am like okay,” Zareen said.
She added, “(He said) you know what we will do a kissing scene. I am like what? No, I am not doing any kissing scene as rehearsal.”
“This person is telling me you know we can be more than friends and all and you know then I will specifically look into the projects you are getting. I will make your lead and all. I said no, I don’t work like that,” the actress said.
Having worked at a call centre and promoting stalls at exhibitions, Zareen got her big break in ‘Veer’. The actor also revealed that she faced discomfort and awkwardness because of her comparison with Katrina Kaif and feels the only reason for that ‘was that I was a complete outsider’.
“The media made it hard. From my looks and then again my weight. Weight was something I was told to put on because I was playing a princess of the 18th century because women of that time were supposed to be a little plumper and all those things,” she said.
In an earlier interview the B-town diva revealed that prior to her setting foot in the showbiz world, she weighed more than 100 kg but was never called names. However, she was subjected to body shaming once she entered films and was even trolled brutally for sharing a picture of herself with stretch marks on her stomach.
“It was weird, but did not affect me. I am an actor, judge me on my acting abilities, not my weight, colour, or height. But there are people in the film industry who go all out to say that body-shaming should not be done. However, when they make a film, they only want zero-sized girls for their movie. There is a lot of show-offs and double standard in our industry,” she said.