Bollywood’s Casting Couch Crusader
For those unfamiliar with the term, casting couch refers to trading sexual favors in exchange for career advancement. The term supposedly originated in Hollywood with specific reference to couches in the offices of casting agents that could be used for sexual congress between the agents and aspiring actors.
In Rina’s new book Dear Mr. Bollywood: How I Fell In Love With India, Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan, the model allegedly exposes some of the Bollywood bigwigs who indulge in these indecent proposals.
“The book is about my journey in Bollywood and the casting couch has been the most important part of it,” Rina told Mail Today.
Rina says she never resorted to any shortcuts while looking for her big break. Additionally, she states that the purpose of the book is not to expose Bollywood’s seedy underbelly, but to chronicle her journey and highlight her admiration of Shah Rukh—the King Khan.
According to Rina, the casting couch is an industry reality: “I wonder why people get shocked at the mention of casting couch. I have witnessed numerous young girls and boys getting exploited.”
The book is peppered with the conversations she claims she had with top filmmakers, including Subhash Ghai, Anees Bazmee, and Anoop Jalota, who she says told her “he wants to cheat on his wife.”
Both Bazmee and Jalota have denied the allegations, but Ghai has yet to respond. How Bollywood reacts to the book, which was released at the MAMI film festival in Mumbai, may be more telling than the content itself.
“It is my story and I have honestly revealed it,” says Rina. “If this means there will be no place for me in Bollywood, so be it.”