Filmmakers wanted to see my cleavage, thighs’: Surveen Chawla


Surven Chawla opens up on horrific casting couch which exit not only in Bollywood but in South as well.

Opening about one such event to Pinkvilla, Surveen said, “Then came south and that was my biggest blow. I faced casting couch thrice. There was a time I was told to accompany a film director for a recce and I was told ‘I want to know every inch of your body’. I just started ignoring calls from then on.”

She added, “This was another ridiculously big director down south, a National Award-winning director. I had a very long audition there, it almost lasted a shift. I had to do various things – a monologue or saying something impromptu. I was unwell and I returned after the audition. Then the director suddenly offered to come to Mumbai as I was unwell. I found it very creepy and said ‘no, thank you’.

“On the same phone call, in which I was not speaking to the director as he could only speak Tamil and no English or Hindi. He spoke to me through someone, maybe a friend. That person told me on the phone that ‘sir needs to know you, he needs to understand you as this film will take a long time to make’. And then he jumped to ‘only till the film and then you can stop’. I very innocently asked him ‘stop what’. So, he said ‘just till the film this will go on; then you can stop’. I still remember my words. I told him that you are knocking on the wrong door. If sir thinks I am talented then I am still willing to work in his film but I cannot barter myself. And that film also didn’t happen.”

Talking about casting couch experiences in the Hindi film industry, she said, “It happened quite recently, last to last year. I had to barge out of an office because of someone trying to insinuate an act and I will never do that,” she went on to add, “One filmmaker to see how my cleavage looks and one filmmaker wants to see how my thighs looked. This kind of stuff happens.”

Not only casting couch, Surveen also revealed about having tryst with bodyshaming. She revealed the moment when she was called overweight. “I was just 56 kilos and I thought the person needed glasses,” she said.