Watch: Tisca Chopra recounts her casting couch experience
Actress Tisca Chopra has over the years made a name for herself in Bollywood and television, but at the onset of her career, she too had to struggle and face the infamous casting couch. In a session with Kommune India recently, Tisca revealed her casting couch experience and how she escaped its clutches.
In plain terms, ‘casting couch’ is a system in which a person is given an opportunity in return for sexual favours and is more prevalent in the entertainment industry. Bollywood especially has a long list of casting couch stories and scandals. But, despite all the all the negative attention it has garnered over the years, it is still very much in practice.
In a tongue-in-cheek recounting of her experience, the ‘Taare Zameen Par’ actress revealed that the incident took place after her debut when she didn’t have any other work at hand. A well-known producer-director, whom she called ‘RP for reptile’ in the session, called her up for a role in a big film.
When the actress reached his office, RP told her that she needed to learn how to walk in heels, a manicure and a spa for hair and “learn how to ooze.” Tisca, who was unaware about the director’s intentions, accepted the role and was very much excited about it and shared it with her friends.
Her concerned friends then told her of the director’s ways that “agreeing to do a film with him is like agreeing to be his pet squeeze for the duration of the shoot.” One of her friends even narrated her own experience with a Tamil director who wanted to take her location-hunting to Pondicherry as he wanted "the script to penetrate every inch of her body."
Since she needed the work, Tisca considered the options of befriending RP’s wife or talking to his son who was an assistant director on the film, and even to RP himself. Meanwhile, the shooting began in Mumbai and everything went on well.
Then during the outdoor shoot, one day RP asked her to meet him for dinner to “discuss the script.” She thought upon a plan which if worked, could do really well and if it not, she'd be on a plane back to India.
Earlier in the day, she along with other young cast and crew members, including RP’s son, had made plans to go out for dinner and explore the place. As a part of the plan to rescue herself, she asked the hotel operator to transfer all her calls to RP’s room. Soon after she went to RP’s room with flowers and chocolates and thanked him for “shooting her beautifully”, the phone started ringing.
Tisca told her colleagues that she was in RP’s room “discussing the script” and asked the director how long it would take. She received successive calls asking her to come and join the party after which RP “lost his desire to discuss the script and that was that.”
“We did finish the film and it was great fun," Tisca said.
Watch Tisca narrating the tale in the most hilarious manner in the video here: