Actress Payal Rohatgi recently spoke to us about director Anurag Kashyap and what she thought of him. In the next segment of our conversation with Payal we asked her about her version of the Dibakar Banerjee controversy and his indecent gesture. We also asked her about how she knew Dibakar and queried her about the SHANGHAI role for which she had auditioned. And here's what she says :-
"Actually the first time that I met Dibakar was when I had gone to the Taj Maratha to meet my friend, the well known South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs. While I was waiting for Gibbs I ran into Dibakar and told him how I liked all his films. It was after this that we got very friendly, but just friendly!
Sometimes Dibakar used to come to my house on Yari Road where I live with my family and at times I used to meet him at his office on Matunga Road. Everybody knows that I was going through a broken relationship, while Dibakar had problems in his married life. He confessed about how he had many girlfriends and also that he used to visit a Mumbai based psychiatrist and sexologist in order to keep his wife happy.
After a few months I had to go to Buenos Aires for 'Zor Ka Jhatka' shoot where I got injured as I had suffered a fracture. When I returned I met Dibakar again and asked him if he was making any new film and whether I fitted into any role. He promptly told me about SHANGHAI and said that there was a role but I had to audition, to which I had no objection. Next he directed me to his casting director Atul Mongia . The audition scene required me (as I was to play a married woman) to react to my husband's death scene in an accident, which I come to know about via television news. Since I believe in giving 100 percent I got quite involved with the scene and started crying. After it was over the SHANGHAI casting director Atul Mongia gave me the good news that I had passed with flying colours and the role was mine. I was very thrilled and later on I spoke to Dibakar and told him so. Since I was still in to the skin of the character my voice sounded a bit depressed and he asked me if everything was fine and that he was coming over. I immediately said that there was no need to come to my house from his office so late at night but he still arrived carrying a few bottle of beers and he offered it to me but I declined. I could see that he had already consumed some. And then he said, "You are looking quite plump." And before I could say that it was due to lack of exercise because of my fracture he said, "Let me see" and tried to lift my shirt. I slapped his hand away and that was it and he left.
Interestingly Atul (the casting director) never knew of this and he was under the impression that I had been selected for the role and even I had not taken the incident seriously and had thought of it as a drunken act on his part. But from the next day Dibakar did not respond to any of my calls or sms and following that even Atul went on the blink. My question is, let us brush aside SHANGHAI role and whether it came to me or not. We have been friends for such a long time, at least respond or say something or why not clarify your position? But no nothing! Instead, I hear contradictory statements like:
a) We needed a fresh face for the role!
b) Payal was looking too plump. To that, I say (and it will come as shock) that I just shot an ad for a slim shaper at Madh Island!
c) I took Payal out to a studio. To the third point my response is which studio opens after midnight? And surely there must be some witnesses, and if so bring forth a witness who saw Dibakar bringing me to a studio!
To make matters worse I see Anuarg Kashyap jumping into the fray. I have already told you what I feel about him. I want to add that these guys give role to each other's girlfriends, like Kalki's Coca Cola ad (with Imran Khan) which Dibakar directed. But what really hurt me was 'Payal has done this for publicity'. Well, Payal Rohatgi does not need publicity. She has had enough publicity through her films, Big Boss and so many other things!"