By RAHUL RAUT
There have been numerous incidents of sexual abuse and molestation on actresses in Hindi film industry. Many Bollywood actresses have also spoken about this kind of disgraceful acts in past but unfortunately, it’s still happening. Actresses are still becoming victims of casting couch and getting assaulted at the hands of the directors and producers. Although the number of such ignominious activities have declined after the Hollywood’s recent sexual harassment scandal, it is yet common for the Bollywood actresses especially the newcomers and strugglers or the ones who are not so popular.
Now, a new shocking incident has come to light. Zareen Khan has spoken against the makers of her recent film ‘Aksar 2’ and revealed that she was mistreated and wrongly presented by them. The actress who made her Bollywood debut with Salman Khan starrer ‘Veer’ in 2010, said that the makers had assured her that the film will be clean but they made it into an erotic film. “God knows what happened to them sometime later, they wanted me to wear minimal clothes in every frame,” Zareen revealed to a website in an interview.
She had the option of walking out from the film but she, being a professional, thought to complete the film as, by the time such things started to happen, a substantial part of the film was already shot and a good amount of money was at stake. “Just like a professional, I tried to find a middle solution, but every time there were arguments. My stylist was terribly harrowed. Every day they wanted a change in my clothes; they wanted me to change into something very irrational, something that would make me expose.”
Zareen said the makers of ‘Aksar 2’ were completely clueless after a certain point what they wanted from the film. “It’s not about wearing the bikinis, it’s about pushing certain things out of the blue, things which were just not acceptable. I am not saying that I don’t want to don bikinis or do kissing scenes, I remember doing Hate Story 3 and they were so clear what they wanted.”
Not only she was shown sensuous and vulgar in the film, the kissing duration was also increased for no rhyme or reason. “They added close-ups to wide-angle shots to retakes and what not- and the result is for you to see.” When Zareen messaged the director Ananth Mahadevan asking him why a clean film has changed into an erotica, his replies were hopeless. The director indirectly hinted her that the producer was calling the shots and he had no say on that.
The most bizarre thing happened while she was promoting the film in Delhi. The actress revealed that she was almost “molested” by strangers in the streets of the Indian capital city. The actress detailed the freaky incident, saying: “They had over-committed to the sponsors and hadn’t briefed me! Look at the miscommunication! They took me to a venue where I was told to do interactions while the makers were busy eating food and drinking beer. Raat bhar khao, daaru piyo- but is this the way you treat a lady? Nobody came down to see me off till the car, and while I was on my way down they tried to stop me. When I reached the car I was supposed to travel in, I realised that they had frisked the keys before I got into it.”
“The security was minimal and the crowd came very close to me on the road. Now, who says that I was molested as their messages read? I was on the verge of being molested. I could have been molested. Somehow I told the security guards to give me their car to reach the hotel. And mind you, the security was hardly any. I reach the hotel and this so-called producer Bajaj comes and demands to know that who will pay the sponsors because I did not fulfil my assignment to the end? As I said I was not even told what I was supposed to do, leave aside if I was comfortable doing that or not- so how could I fulfil? And I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked out with my staff who hasn’t been paid till date, took an OLA, flew back to Mumbai by the 2.30 am flight. Mind you, alone. My staff could come only on the next flight as they didn’t get tickets.”
Worse still, Zareen was not invited even for the special screening that held at Palladium on Thursday night. The actress is upset with many parts in the movie that have been shoved into the film without any reason. She hopes that she never see ‘Aksar 2’ makers again in her life. “I worked so f***ing hard on Aksar 2 and got ill-treated. I am not saying that I am some sati-savitri but the insertion of content was supposed to be by mutual consent. I can take them to Court. I have the relevant papers. And now, the makers are trying to save their a**es. I hope I never see them again in my life.”
The producers of Aksar 2, Varun Bajaj, son of the respectable senior Bollywood producer Shyam Bajaj, has been sending out a message to every media person condemning Zareen Khan. The message reads, “Source says, “Zareen Khan and her team approved the entire tour schedule provided to them two days before the departure. She backed out of all her commitments leaving aside the press conference and a sponsor visit. She did not even complete a day of promotions, which troubled the makers to a point where they had to compensate a huge amount of money and were harassed and threatened till the wee hours of the morning. The bit about her almost getting molested, is absolutely untrue, as she left the venue throwing tantrums arguing with the sponsors as she did not want to stay or eat there. She left with four bodyguards and her manager in tow.
She sat in the sponsor’s car who she had shouted on and had an argument with. The sponsor withheld the key of the car, but the makers arranged for another car and sent her and her team to the hotel safely, after which she left for Mumbai without informing the makers. This is not the first time that Zareen has troubled the filmmakers. She has put them in a fix many a times and made them suffer losses.”
When Zareen was informed that the producer is telling her unprofessional, she replied: “Me and unprofessional? I have worked with bigger filmmakers like Sajid Nadiadwala, Bhushan Kumar and Vikram Bhatt, to name a few. Ask then how Zareen is.”
Read the full interview of the actress on Spotboye.