Swara Bhasker was a guest at the Express Adda on May 28 and she talked at length about her last movie Veere Di Wedding, casting couch in Bollywood and feminism among other things.
The #MeToo phenomenon was spread all over the world with women and men coming forth and sharing their harassment stories. The movement started after the Harvey Weinstein scandal came to light but while women all over the world were coming forth with their personal stories, actresses from Bollywood stayed tight-lipped about it.
On being asked whether Swara had faced the casting couch, she shared an anecdote where a man, who said he is the manager of a big producer, kept asking Swara about her residential details. The meeting was starting to take a strange turn and Swara was trying hard to get out of the meeting. As she got out of the meeting, the man tried to kiss her. Swara recalled, “When I got out this guy actually tried to kiss my ear and said ‘I love you baby’ and I kind of did that (gestures shirking away) so he got a mouthful of my hair so I was just like… so that kind of stuff happens. It’s all a part of casting couch, right?”
Swara also shared her thoughts about feminism during the audience interaction. She said, “Feminism is about a thought that there should be equality amongst the genders. And equality not just of representation but equality of opportunity and equality of accountability, which is something that not just women but a lot of communities in India have not had, whether it is caste, whether it is women. And for me, feminism is about giving women choice. So if some women choose to be conservative or choose to deny themselves their own rights, what can I say? I think it is completely legitimate to ask those women that why do they want to tie themselves down?”