We know now that they exist, filmmakers (men) who seek sexual favours from aspiring male actors before giving them a shot at Bollywood stardom. It has been the perennial hot buzz within and outside the industry that has provided juicy grist to celebrity rumour mills, but none of the established names had the guts and gumption to bring it into the open so far. However, Ranveer Singh, the BAND BAAJA BAARAAT star, made the startling revelation confirming the hearsay as fact during a FICCI FRAMES session moderated by Karan Johar. It started with a KJO smart liner, who jokingly asked Ranveer if there existed a casting couch at Yashraj, though he had not seen it himself otherwise he would have ordered one for Dharma Productions office as well.
KJO is known for taking bold pot shots like this on his 'rumoured' sexual preferences. Ranveer did not get the joke and unwittingly and ingenuously spoke the truth. He said that though it did not exist at Yashraj, the casting couch for male actors was a reality and he had come across many sleazy characters during his struggle days (who sought sexual favours from him). Before the young actor and star could further elaborate on the subject, KJO cut him short, saying he was not actually serious about the question. An embarrassed Ranveer did not reveal anything more on the issue. However, it will be interesting to know the names of the sleazy filmmakers who made amorous advances towards the hunky actor and how will they be feeling now that he has achieved Bollywood stardom without getting on to their casting couch.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)