In a new interview, actor Sangeeta Odwani said she was left ‘heartbroken’, when she found out that all the stories about casting couch in the film industry were indeed true. She opened up about her own casting couch experience. Sangeeta said that a popular and influential filmmaker had once asked her to meet him alone, and when she took her friend along with her, he cancelled the meeting. Also read: Imli actor Seerat Kapoor sheds light on the dark reality of casting couch in the TV industry
Sangeeta is known for her roles in the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer The Big Bull (2021) and the show Shubh Mangal Mein Dangal, among others. She said that during her initial days in Mumbai, she went for an audition with a friend and she was later asked to meet the producer. But when she took her friend, who is also an actor now, along with her for the meeting, the producer allegedly cancelled the meeting and said she was supposed to visit him alone, not with a friend.
Why she didn’t take action against producer
Sangeeta told SpotboyE, “Actor’s life is never easy. Especially when you are an outsider and people target you and try to influence you to sleep around. I remember during my initial days a popular producer tried on me and asked me to meet him alone. During that time me and my friend Sonali (Singh) who’s also an actress now, arrived together to dream city Mumbai to pursue our acting dream. We went together for an audition and later were asked to meet the producer. So when I took her along with me, he cancelled the meeting saying I was supposed to come alone as they are going to launch me. So that needs to be a personal meeting. I could really doubt his intentions, but he was popular and very powerful so instead of taking action against him we went back and didn’t entertain him anymore.”
The actor further said, “I was heartbroken because I was puzzled that whatever we listen that an actress need to compromise to get a good break in showbiz, was it true! But by God’s grace, I gave myself another chance and proved that it was a myth. Actually, it’s upon an individual whether he wants to choose a shortcut or keep trying with faith in their talent and destiny.”
Actors say casting couch exists everywhere
Previously, many actors have called out the casting couch culture in TV industry and Bollywood. Earlier this year, actor Jatin Singh Jamwal had said in an interview with Hindustan Times that he cried after facing casting couch. The actor said he was shocked when a director had asked him to send a picture wearing just an underwear.
Last year, actor Shama Sikander had said that casting couch exists everywhere, as she recalled her own experience. She told Bollywood Life in September 2022, “The industry has changed so much and for good. Today, young producers are far more professional and treat people respectfully. They do not have the notion of sex for work. In the past, I have had producers tell me that they wanted to be friends with me. I was like, how can we be friends if we do not work together. I feel the whole concept of asking for sex in return for work is the lowest of low. I mean, you have to be a terribly insecure human being to do that. Some of these producers and makers were well-established names in the industry…”