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TV actress Ratan Rajput opens up on facing casting couch, recalls when a famous director drugged her

She talked about another audition where she saw clothes thrown here and there and a girl lying unconscious perhaps due to alcohol.

Casting couch has been a dark reality of the entertainment industry globally. From Hollywood to Bollywood to the Indian television industry, many artists have opened up about their casting couch experiences with them. Recently, television actress Ratan Rajput narrated her experience with the casting couch in an interview with AajTak. Ratan Rajput revealed in the interview that she was drugged without her consent before an audition.

In simple terms, a casting couch is a situation in which an aspiring actor is told to perform sexual favours in exchange for a role in a film/show. Over the year, many actors have taken a stand against this blatant abuse of power in the industry. 

Before delving into the specifics of her casting couch experience,  Ratan explained why a discussion around the casting couch issue is necessary. 

“I would call the casting couch ‘neeyat’ (motive). Even during the #MeToo movement, I had never really spoken about the casting couch. However, we must talk about it happening in the (television) industry. I’m on YouTube, and I get a lot of personal emails, especially from youngsters, you know the future generation. They want that I guide them. This is what makes me feel that they should be aware of the truth. They should not feel desperate. Having stated that the entire industry is not bad if four persons among them have done something wrong. It is critical to understand that not everyone is the same. You should only need to know how to filter out,” Rajput said.

Following this, Ratan Rajput recalled an incident dating years back when she was a newcomer in the showbiz industry. 

“That time, all the auditions used to take place at a hotel in Oshiwara. I went there for an audition and noticed many well-known actors. My audition went well, although the director was not present. Some lower-level co-ordinator took my audition and said, You did so well, ma’am. Sir has only been talking about you. “Aapka hi hoga,”  I said okay. In those days, I had this habit of not going alone (to auditions). I was accompanied by a friend who had come for a dance audition. Anyway, the coordinator instructed me to collect the script and prepare for a meeting. I was confused about what was going on”, the actor said remembering her audition.

The actress further narrated how people at the audition insisting her to have a cold drink. “They repeatedly insisted us to have a cold drink and we took a sip although we didn’t want to. They then said that they would call me for another audition. After returning home me and my friend felt uneasy and we doubted if something was mixed in the cold drink,” Rajput said.

Furthermore, she talked about another audition where she saw clothes thrown here and there and a girl lying unconscious perhaps due to alcohol. “I sensed that whatever was supposed to happen there is already done. Then a man came outside and rebuked me saying why have I come with my boyfriend, I told him that my brother was accompanying me. Something was there in that cold drink I had which made me feel out of control even when I was conscious. I said sorry and just ran away from there,” Rajput added. 

The ‘Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo’ actress expressed her wish to slap the director who was involved in that incident mentioning that the person is a big name in the industry even now. 

“I want to slap that person who did this to me. He is still a big name in the industry,” the actress concluded.

When ‘Pavitra Rishta’ fame Ankita Lokhande opened up about casting couch

This is, however, not the first time when an actress has opened up about the casting couch in the television industry. In the year 2021, Ekta Kapoor’s hit TV serial ‘Pavitra Rishta’ fame actress Ankita Lokhande shared her experience of facing the ‘casting couch’ in the industry. 

In an interview with Bollywood Bubble, the ‘Pavitra Rishta’ actress revealed that she had two encounters with predatory guys during her career. Ankita Lokhande recalled her first encounter with the ‘casting couch’ when she was in her late teens. She was asked to audition for a role in a South Indian film. To get a part in the film, she was asked to ‘compromise’ and sleep with the producer. Her second meeting with the casting couch occurred after she had already established herself as a popular actor through the TV serial ‘Pavitra Rishta.’

When Divyanka Tripathi refused a casting couch offer

In January last year, popular TV actress Divyanka Tripathi, in an interview with Bollywood Bubble, talked about facing the casting couch.

“There was a time when there I had no money. I had to pay my bills and EMIs. There was a lot of pressure. Then comes an offer, ‘You have to be with this director and you’ll get a big break’. But why me? I was told that ‘you are really intellectual, this, that.’ Selling it off like my life will be made just by that and everyone is doing it,” the Yeh Hain Mohabbatein fame actress said.

Other than the ones mentioned above many actors like Ankit Gupta, Madalsa Sharma, Kaveri Priyam, Urfi Javed, and others have openly talked about their casting couch experiences and how they dealt with such situations.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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