Vidya Balan on Casting Couch: A Message to Upcoming Actors

B-town actor Vidya Balan recently recalled a scarring casting couch incident from her past, as well as other bad experiences in the film industry which harmed her confidence. Read the full interview here!

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Rishika Gupta
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Vidya Balan on Casting Couch: A Message to Upcoming Actors

One of the most versatile Bollywood actors Vidya Balan on Tuesday opened up about a casting couch experience she faced years ago. In a recent interview, the actor said young actors should remember that no opportunity is big enough for them to compromise on their safety.

On the launch event of the book on ISRO by Minnie Vaid, a documentary filmmaker as well as journalist, Vidya was asked that what would she advise to upcoming actors who might face a similar situation. On that, Vidya told reporters,

"Honestly, I had forgotten about this incident because thankfully nothing happened. But that day in the course of the interview I remembered after years... But I was fortunate that nothing happened to me. There was no force, no molestation."

She described the incident,

“One day I remember I was in Chennai and this director came to meet me. I said let’s sit in the coffee shop and he kept insisting that he wants to talk to me and that we should go to the room. I left the door of my room open and he left within five minutes. This incident suddenly struck me today when I’m talking about this.”

Further, the 'Mission Mangal' actor stated that it is very important not to let one's ambitions be used as bait by others. And, again adviced young actors that they should never fall for the bait of good work by people who misuse their authority.

She added,

"I think no opportunity should be big enough for you to compromise on your safety. There's a lot of work out there. If you are good and believe in yourself, I think nothing is impossible. Don't give into people who use this as a bait."

Later she said,

“Someone wrote that ‘Dress like this, she has no business of getting out, she should stay indoors’. That had affected me so much that for the longest time, I would get dreams of it and get really angry. Today, I don’t let the noise get to me.”

Meanwhile, in the conversation, Vidya told the reporters that there was a time when she signed 12 Tamil films, but in the end, she was replaced in each one of them because the agreements were not written but only verbal.

She said,

“My parents flew to Chennai and spoke to the producer, who showed clips from the film and said, ‘Look at her, does she look like a heroine?’”

She told how the incident made her ‘feel like s**t,’ and she was bummed enough that she didn’t look in the mirror for what felt like six months because she felt filthy. Vidya further said that after the incident, she found it difficult to forgive the man, but can honestly say that she did it now.

Performance of Vidya Balan in Mission Mangal has been praised by many. The film, which also features Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari and others, has made over Rs 160 crore at the Indian box office.