Rajeev Khandelwal shares casting couch horror with top director: ‘He asked me to go to his room which I refused’
Rajeev Khandelwal said that before he made his Bollywood debut, he was offered a film by a top director, who propositioned him.
The #MeToo movement, which rocked the country in 2018, encouraged several people to come out with their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. During a recent interaction with The Times of India, Rajeev Khandelwal said that men, too, were at the receiving end of inappropriate advances.
Rajeev was reminded of his own casting couch experience while discussing the #MeToo movement recently. “The incident gave me flashes of a once-upon-a-time super director who had offered me a movie back then when I did not start doing films,” he said.
Before Rajeev made his big screen debut with Raj Kumar Gupta’s Aamir, he was a popular face on television, with shows like Kahiin Toh Hoga and Left Right Left to his credit. The actor said that he was called into the filmmaker’s home office to discuss the film.
“Next time, he called me from his office to his room, and then he made me sit there and decided not to give me the story, instead asked me to decide whether I want to do the movie based on one song,” he said.
Rajeev went on to say that he did not give projects a nod without reading a script, and when he made this known to the filmmaker, he lashed out at him. “By the second meeting, I had realised things were just not alright. It turned into a hilarious situation as well. I found myself feeling how any woman in my place would have felt. He asked me to go to his room which I refused to. I dropped names and mentioned that I have a girlfriend back then waiting for me so that the guy knows that I am straight,” he shared.
The director allegedly threatened to ruin Rajeev’s career for rejecting his advances. “Later, he offered me a two-film deal, saying that he had heard that I was doing a small budget-movie, which was Aamir, at that time. I replied to him saying that I was happy with my small budget movie. I don’t know what happened to his film when it came out,” the actor said.
Recently, Rajeev was seen in the web series Marzi, alongside Aahana Kumra. The show is streaming on Voot.