Mumbai: Actress Mallika Sherawat, best known for her role in Murder and Pyaar Ke Side Effects, talked about her casting couch experience in an interview with news agency PTI, in which she said that she was “thrown out of projects” for refusing to get intimate with her co-stars offscreen. “I was thrown out of projects because heroes would say ‘why can’t you be intimate with me? You can do it on screen, what’s the problem in doing that with me in private?’ I’ve lost so many projects. It’s very reflective of the society, what women deal with in our country.” Mallika Sherawat, 41, told PTI that “men took liberty” and “judged her character” for the roles she played in films. “There were so many accusations and judgements on me. If you wear short skirts, kiss onscreen, then you’re a fallen woman with no morals. Men tend to take liberties with you,” Mallika said.
“My story, where I come from and what I battled, was overlooked, and it was all about how many kissing scenes I had. It made me insecure because I thought I had so much more to offer. But there was only one aspect of mine being highlighted and I really suffered because of that,” she added.
Mallika Sherawat, who has also featured in films like Khwahish, Ugly Aur Pagli and Kis Kis Ki Kismat, revealed that directors asked her to meet them at odd hours. “I’m a very headstrong woman, I can’t compromise. I’ve a lot of pride and self-respect. There were times when directors have called me and said ‘come to me at 3 am.’ I was so scared to talk about it because I thought they are going to blame me, that I must’ve behaved in such a way that prompted the director to say this. There is that victim blaming mentality which exists in our society and I always felt scared to talk about these things.”
Mallika Sherawat also said: “When people judged me, it made me very insecure, overtly critical of myself and question everything I did. It’s not a healthy space. At that time, a large section of the media was antagonistic towards me. They were always interested in sensationalism, which hurt me.”
Mallika Sherawat’s last Bollywood film was Dirty Politics (2015). Mallika has also featured in several international projects such as The Myth, Time Raiders and Politics Of Love. She will be next seen in Saandesh B Nayak’s Zeenat.