Neeta Shah, author of Bollywood Striptease, opens up about what led her to spill the beans on Bollywood's casting couch. On struggling to become an actress to getting a film made on her first book, Shah tells us all.
Q. You've spoken a lot about casting couch in Bollywood, do you
think people who deny the propositioning are lying?
I am no one to say that. I am not saying that all successful actors have been through casting couch. I have just written my experience in the industry with all due respect to the good side of it.
Q. You experienced quite a lot of it with some of the big names in the industry, but what has stopped you from taking names?
I work in the industry and it's a lovely place and every industry is good, bad and ugly. Though inspired by my life, this book is a work of fiction.
Q. Your book came after movies like Fashion, which already gave an insight into the big bad world out there. Was it a safe choice? And then Heroine followed.
All these films like Fashion, Dirty Picture, Page 3, show the bad side of the industry but my book has a very balanced approach. When I was giving auditions, I used to share these interesting stories with my friends and one day they asked me to write all this in a form of book. So, my friends really encouraged me to do so.
Q. You went through several ups and downs, but incidents like Akansha's nude pictures on the porn site can shock many young girls who are aspiring a career in films. What do you have to say?
I don't want to shock people. I just want to warn them that you guys need to be cautious in the industry. Please go ahead and achieve your goal but also be very very careful. I don't regret anything today, I am not an actor but yes I am placed very well. My book is a bestseller and I've sold more than 50,000 copies.
Q. Even in Tollywood, you mentioned something similar happened to you. As a matter of fact we do know many young faces have come through South film industry. Do you think they must have faced the same?
It didn't happen to me, it is something my friend told me. See, I can't say if they have faced it or not.
Q. It is brave of you to open up but if you were an A-list actress, would you still have the guts?
Yes, I think I would have said this even if I were a A-list heroine. I don't think what people will say or how they will react.
Q. Your dream job was to become a Bollywood diva but eventually you chose a different calling. How happy are you as far as professional space is concerned?
The acting dream is still alive, I'd do it on my own terms. I am working with a production house and I am quite happy.
Q. What is your next project? Will you write more?
Very soon a movie will be made on my book Bollywood Striptease. I can't give you details right away but it is finalised. I am also writing a book again on Bollywood only but it will be a very intense story.