Banita Sandhu on casting couch: My casting began in UK, so I was very protected
Actor Banita Sandhu says that casting couch is something that should be spoken about because abuse of power positions shouldn’t be a naturalised part of Bollywood.bollywood Updated: May 19, 2018 16:00 IST
Actor Banita Sandhu, who made her Bollywood debut opposite Varun Dhawan in Shoojit Sircar’s October, last month, has got rave reviews for her performance. While most newcomers don’t have it easy in the industry and have to struggle to carve a niche, Banita calls herself lucky. “I was 18 when I came to India for the first time to do ads and I walked away with a film role from a director like Shoojit Sircar. I count my blessings every day for that,” she says.
Being an outsider and having tasted immediate success with her debut, Banita clearly has put the nepotism debate on the back seat. Was it difficult to bag this part, especially when there are so many star kids sitting around? “Honestly, I don’t really focus on other people’s careers. I’ll never compare myself to anyone else, let alone a ‘star kid’. I believe I was very fortunate in my journey that everything almost fell into place; it was like fate,” Banita says.
Like many debutantes, Banita agrees that she had also heard instances of casting couch in the film industry but she never worried about being caught in any such trap. “My casting for (projects in) India actually began in London with my agent at the time; so I was very protected and fortunate to be working with the right casting directors in the UK. However, when I got my first ad for India, I had to fly to Malaysia. My mum was perhaps more worried than I was because I’d never been so far away from home by myself before, so she forced my dad to come with me! After that, my family realised that as long as you’re working with the right people, anywhere in the world, you’ll be safe,” she shared.
Stating that “although I’m lucky to have never had an encounter with it”, Banita is quick to add, “Casting couch does exist, in all industries and not just cinema. It is something which should be spoken about because people who abuse their positions of power should be reprimanded. It shouldn’t be a ‘given’ or a naturalised part of the industry.”
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