Case One: In 2015, some old pictures of famous 20th century director AR Kardar’s office suddenly went viral. Everyone took a lot of chatter and linked it to the ‘casting couch’. The truth was that in 1951, Kardar was choosing two girls for his new film, Dil-e-Nadan. Peace Kanwal and Chand Usmani were finally selected for this film. Photographers of Life magazine had taken these pictures in Kardar Saheb’s office. It is possible that in those days, the same method of audition is adopted for the choice of characters. AR Kardar was an actor and filmmaker from Lahore. Who had moved from Lahore to Kolkata and then to Mumbai before partition due to personal reasons.
Case two: In Madhur Bhandarkar’s film ‘Page 3’, scenes with some inner truths of the film and fashion industry were placed to expose the page 3 culture of the metros. In a special scene, the English film journalist Madhavi (Konkona Sen) introduces the film star Rohit (Vikram Saluja) to the strolling actor Gayatri (Tara Sharma) and recommends to get the film done. Rohit sends him to director Charu Mohanty. When Charu meets Gayatri, he touches her body everywhere. It has been established that they try to make physical relations in exchange for giving work. This is called ‘casting couch’.
Context Three: Ram Gopal Varma’s office in Andheri West, after the success of ‘Factory’, ‘Satya’ and ‘Shool’, became a great hope for the actors wandering in search of an opportunity in films. There used to be crowds and queues of artists at Varma’s office here. Everyone was hoping that they could have a look. If nothing else, the process of submitting pictures was not stopped. Some cast their eyes on him and some were chosen from those photographs. Till a few years ago, Mahesh Bhatt was a great hope for new artists. These days there is no such prolific director, who is giving a chance to a new face in every film.
Context Four, five… In the coming days, news is being quoted about the unnamed artists that they were molested on the pretext of casting. Everyone believes that the process of casting couch has been going on for decades. Only the ways keep changing. At first it did not even seem to know. Now popular and established actresses and actors have started sharing their bad experiences under the influence of the hashtag ‘MeToo’. In an interview with FilmLaundry, Richa Chadha had told how a casting director had advised her to open up and go for a walk.
Because of these stories, there is a perception that there is a mystery behind casting in the film industry. One end of this mystery goes through the girls’ body. For a long time, the husband and father of the film industry kept their wives and daughters away from films. Karisma Kapoor, the third generation of the Kapoor family, got the support of mother Babita, but the male members of the family had to face opposition. Sanjay Dutt does not want his daughter Trishala to work in films. He has been repeatedly emphasizing this in his old interviews. Now if we recall the scene of her confession of sleeping with 350 girls in the film ‘Sanju’ based on her life, then there must have been some actresses in those 350.
Right now, there are reports of Big B getting emotional when Amitabh Bachchan and Shweta Bachchan come together in an advertisement. Was Shweta’s desire to act was stifled in her youth or suddenly she got bitten by acting? Actresses like Jaddan Bai, Shobhana Samarth and Babita revolted from their family and society and inspired the daughters to enter films. Supported them. Conditions and perceptions have changed. There has been a change in the thinking inside and outside the film industry. Now daughters from film fraternity to normal families are choosing films as careers. Along with acting for girls in films, other fields have also opened.
The manner of casting in Hindi films has completely changed. Right now, the producer-director is also taking the help of the casting director in the selection of the main cast. These days, a film project starts with popular big stars. Once their names are decided, the rest of the responsibility is handed over to the casting director. In the last 10 years, the importance of casting directors has increased. A system has developed in the film industry. Now the crowd of Strugler is starting in the office of casting director instead of producer-director. More artists are getting work. They do not have to stumble from rate to rate as before. There is disappointment even today, but there is a difference in its quantity and appearance.
Casting in the past decades
Contact – In Dada Saheb Phalke’s time, it was difficult to get actors for films. He persuaded the relatives of some and also persuaded some male companions for female roles. In those days, most artists were selected by contact. The scope was small and there was a shortage of actors eager to act in films. They were assigned roles only on the basis of appearance-o-Surat and height. There was a complete lack of women artists. Girls from alleged civilized families did not go to the movies.
In newspapers and magazines of those days, full academic degrees of artists were printed in film news and posters with names. It was said about the actresses that such and such actresses belong to educated and cultured family. Most actresses are from Parsi, Muslim and Christian families.
She used to come. Producers-directors used to contact tawaifs and active actresses on stage and trained them in language and acting to prepare them for films.
Casting of early Hindi films continued with limited contacts and contacts. The first Hindi film stars Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand got work in films with similar contacts.
Contest: It was seen long after independence that films among urban citizens were no longer forbidden as before. Young men and women desirous of urban population started making films as a career. Now producers-directors used to get so much candidates for any film that they often got opportunities to audition and contest for the right cast.
In the fifth-sixth decade there were organized contests of groups like United Producers. Platforms of magazines were also used. The artists selected by this process used to get the best banners. Their launch was relatively big and popular. Strong actors like Dharmendra and Rajesh Khanna came through this process and became famous in the film industry.
In this era, many artists from other cities of the country came to the film industry. All India contests were also kept for the selection of the main actors of some big films. Producers had come out of the realm of contact and started giving opportunities to external and new talent. Soon after, a string of artists from FTII in Pune came into Hindi films. Few artists also came from NSD. Their admission to these institutions was done through competition and competition. After getting the training of acting, the students who came out from here could play a successful innings in films as a straightforward artist.
Couch: ‘Casting Couch’ is a very popular word pair. It simply means physical abuse instead of giving work or opportunity in films. There is a general perception among film and non-film people that most girls, and now even boys, have to go through the process of casting couch to get work in the film industry.
In the reports and edit articles of old magazines, there is also a reference to the fact that one of the aims of the foreign capitalists who became producers was to ash with film stars. At some point, the situation had become so bad that a session in Mumbai was held on whether girls cannot be kept away from films. This extreme thinking was difficult to execute. Nevertheless, honest producers and directors remain troubled by this trouble and misery.
Some stories and allegations are heard every now and then. It is also said that not all right, but indirectly, almost all girls have to fall prey to this desired process. Famous and famous faces of the film industry are also not acquitted of this stigma. It has happened many times that after the initial exploitation, the girls have become so big and popular with the news that all the true stories have become a rumor.
Many such stories are told and narrated in the film corridor. Gossip and blind columns of the pages of film magazines and now daily newspapers are full of such sensational news and whispers. A few months ago, this truth came to the fore in a disputed reply by Saroj Khan. This cannot be justified in any way, but this unfair truth has been going on for decades, changing the form and appearance.
Compromise: This is a different type of casting exploitation. On the upper side, it is seen as reconciliation and social behavior. Many times there is no physical abuse in this, but to remain liked and loved one has to be kept close. Have to compromise.
Ten years ago, two actresses who were almost retired today, were struggling to come to the top, one told about the other that she manages the kitchen of such and such director’s house and goes to foreign cities for shopping. . Some actresses and actors are compelled to compulsion while climbing the ranks of popularity.
There are also a few actresses who have achieved modest success after a modest comparison. As soon as he becomes famous, it is given some other name. It has also happened once or twice that some have turned their backs. Serious allegations are made. In all cases, it is considered and considered as powerful.
These days some speechless and sensible actresses are not able to enter the mainstream due to not compromising.
Crown: Crown casting also takes place. Like ‘Janhvi Kapoor’ in ‘Dhadak’. Alia Bhatt has done it before. In this, girls and boys are selected in advance. A beauty contest or crown casting of girls from well-known families takes place. The launching of Starson also falls in this category. These days there is a discussion about Manushi Chhibber. Such crown casting is beneficial for film and banner. The ground for the approval of the launching star is ready in advance.