Shiv Thakare rose to national prominence after his successful stint on the reality show Bigg Boss 16. Shiv, who was the first runner-up on the show, is known for his candid takes on matters and always keeping it real with his fans. Now, in a new interaction with Hindustan Times, the actor has shared his thoughts on a rather sensitive subject. The star spoke about the evil of the casting couch in the entertainment industry. While he has never been a victim of the horrific practice, he has had a few close shaves, Shiv said. Recounting one such incident, he said, “I once went for an audition in Aram Nagar and he took me to the bathroom and said, ‘Yaha pe massage centre hai’. I didn’t get the connection between an audition and a massage centre. He told me, ‘Ek baar aap aao yaha audition ke baad. Aap workout bhi karte ho…’ I just left the place, since he was a casting director and I didn’t want to take any pangas.”
Shiv Thakare added, “I am no Salman Khan. But I realised there is no discrimination between men and women when it comes to this (casting couch).”
This was not the only such incident he went through during his early days, the actor stated. Recounting another incident, Shiv Thakare said, “There was a ma’am in Four Bungalows. She would tell me ki, ‘Maine isko banaya hai, maine usko banaya hai’. She was calling me for an audition at 11 in the night. Itna bhola toh nahi hoon main ki I won’t understand what auditions happen at night. So, I told her that I have some work and I cannot make it. To this, she said, ‘Kaam nahi karna?’ ‘You won’t get work in the industry’ and other such things. So they would demotivate you and manipulate you. But I would never get bothered by it.”
He also said that several people had tried to cheat him financially, promising to help him land good roles. However, the actor stood by his belief that if he doesn’t “fit in a character, no one can push” him for a role.
Here’s a glimpse of Shiv Thakare from the finale night of Bigg Boss, where he is seen with superstar Salman Khan.
Before Shiv Thakare, several other actors have spoken about the industry evil. Most recently, actor-politician Ravi Kishan too shared how he faced casting couch while he was new to the industry. Speaking about the incident, Ravi Kishan said, “Yeah, it happened and this is something that happens in the industry. But I somehow managed to escape. My father had taught me that I should approach my work with honesty, I never wanted to take a shortcut. I knew I was talented…I can’t name her, because she has become a big shot now,” adding, “She had said, ‘Coffee peene raat me aayie (Come over for a cup of coffee tonight)’. I thought that it was something people prefer to have during the day. So, I got the hint and refused.”
Previously, Ranveer Singh, Esha Gupta and Kishwer Merchantt have also shared their casting couch ordeals.