Jatin Singh Jamwal recalls crying after facing casting couch: Director asked me to send pic in underwear, I was shocked

May 13, 2023 12:28 PM IST

Actor Jatin Singh Jamwal expresses disappointment over not getting work in the industry despite being part of some successful shows.

Actor Jatin Singh Jamwal, who recently walked out of the show Chasni, in which he played the negative lead, talks about facing casting couch every time he tries to audition for a new project. “After leaving Chashni, I have been going to auditions every day and getting inappropriate requests from casting agents,” he tells us, adding this is not the first time he is encountering such a thing.

Jatin Singh Jamwal talks about his unpleasant experiences with the casting directors.
Jatin Singh Jamwal talks about his unpleasant experiences with the casting directors.

When Jamwal entered the showbiz industry, he had no support system, and hence no idea how to get auditions or build networks. He says he learned everything on his own.

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“And by God’s grace I got two shows back to back. I was happy that hard work was appreciated here in the industry and good auditions were enough to get good work. But after my second show, I was away from the screen for three years and the only reason was people being more interested in meeting me for coffees than in my auditions. After doing two shows, I was expecting ki mujhe kaam easily mil jayega. But I was wrong. I obviously was not aiming for only lead roles. But there were times when I tried auditioning, and instead of asking for my profile, pictures or auditioning videos, mujhe saamne se bola jaata tha let’s meet for coffee,” shares the actor.

Sharing one such incident that left the actor disturbed for days, Jamwal says, “There is a well known casting director who work for OTT shows. I called him once and gave him a reference of someone we both knew. He texted me on WhatsApp and asked for a selfie and I did it. Jise kaam chaiye, wo har tarah se haath pair maarta hai. The casting agent further texted to ask ki shaam ko kya krrhe ho and fixed a meeting. We met at the coffee shot. Hum normally baithe hain and that casting director put his hands on my lap. I did not know how to react in a public place. I tried explaining him that you are taking things in a wrong way and I am not comfortable with this, his reponse was ‘yahan aise hi hota hai’. And I ran away.”

That incident, Jamwal says, affected him so much that “I really cried at home, feeling helpless for days. I could not get the project I really wanted to do because I did not comply to his demands,” he tells us.

Another incident happened when Jamwal contacted a casting director, who is still a very big name in the industry. He recalls, “The director asked me to send a picture in underwear and I was shocked. But I was still new to the industry and did not realize that the demand was completely inappropriate and sent him the photo. Soon after, he stopped replying to me and when I discussed it with my friends and colleagues, I got to know that this is very common here.”

There have been incidents, the actor says, where people who did not even audition for a certain role got the part. “So, of course, it feels bad. It affects you mentally,” he shares and goes on to describe how he hit his lowest during that phase. “When you know you are capable for a job but get rejected for every project, you start questioning your talent...your craft. Aap sochte ho shayad mujhe kaam nahi aata, shayad main dikhta nahi hu. That’s what happened with me. I was not getting any work and I was frustrated. But thanks to Youtube. It helped me survive. During those years, jab mere saath ye ho raha tha, I started my own Youtube channel. I knew I was talented toh main koshish kyu na karu,” he wraps up.

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    Delhi-based Syeda Eba Fatima writes on Bollywood, Television, OTT and Music for the daily entertainment and lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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