Ankita Lokhande made her big screen debut with Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi in 2019.
Ankita Lokhande made her big screen debut with Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi in 2019.

Ankita Lokhande shares casting couch experiences: ‘He was a big actor’

  • Ankita Lokhande said that her first experience of the casting couch came when she was just 19 or 20 years old, and had gone to audition for a South film. The second incident took place when she was already a popular television star.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 23, 2021 07:49 PM IST

Actor Ankita Lokhande opened up about encountering predatory men in the film industry. She spoke about being subject to the horrors of the casting couch twice, once when she was just starting out and again, when she was a successful television star looking to transition to films.

The first time, Ankita was propositioned when she was called in to audition for a South film. She said that she was asked to ‘compromise’ but she walked out, as she was determined to make it on the basis of her talent.

In an interview with Bollywood Bubble, Ankita said that the first incident took place when she was very young. She was asked to ‘compromise’ if she wanted the role. “I was so smart, I was alone in that room and was 19 or 20 years old, and asked him, ‘Which type of compromise does your producer want? Do I have to go for parties or dinners?’” she said.

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Ankita wanted to avoid a situation where she was asked outright to ‘sleep with the producer’. “And the moment he said it, maine uski band baja di thi (I took him to task). I told him, ‘I think your producer wants a girl to sleep with, not a very talented girl to work with.’ And I left from there. He then apologized and said he will try to take me to his film. But I said, ‘If you try and take me in also, I’m not interested in your film,’” she said.

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The second incident took place when she was already a popular face on the small screen. “When I got back again into films, I felt it again, just shaking hands with that person. I don’t want to take names, he was a big actor. I got those vibes, and I quickly got my hands away from him. I knew it, ab mera yahaan nahi hoga (it will not work out for me), because it is a give and take thing. I understood and I left from there because it was not for me,” she said.

Ankita shot to fame as Archana in the popular serial Pavitra Rishta, in which she starred opposite late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. She made her Bollywood debut in 2019 with Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, starring Kangana Ranaut in the titular role. She followed it up with a supporting role in Baaghi 3.

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