Bigg Boss 16 fame Shiv Thakare, in a recent interview, opened up about the times he had to face the casting couch in showbiz. Shiv, who hails from Amravati, came to Mumbai to make a career in acting. When he started auditioning for shows and commercials in 2015, he had some unpleasant experiences. He realised that not just women but men too face casting couch. “Mumbai mein aane ke baad pata chala ki sirf ladkiyo ko dar nahi rehta yaha, ladko ko bhi dar rahta hai (only after I came to Mumbai, I realised that not only women but also men were victims of casting couch),” the actor told Hindustan Times. However, he feels lucky to have avoided the horrible situations not once but twice.
Shiv Thakare, talking to the publication, recalled the time when he was called for an audition in Aram Nagar in Versova. There, a director asked the actor to meet him inside a “massage centre” after the audition. “He (the director) took me to the bathroom and said, ‘Yaha pe massage centre hai’. I didn’t get the connection between an audition and a massage centre. He told me, ‘Ek baar aap aao yaha audition ke baad. Aap workout bhi karte ho..I just left the place, since he was a casting director and I didn’t want to take any pangas. I am no Salman Khan. But I realised there is no discrimination between men and women when it comes to this (casting couch)," said Shiv.
Shiv Thakare’s ordeal with the casting couch did not end there. He narrated another incident where a woman invited him to Four Bungalows, claiming that she had made the careers of several actors in the industry. Shiv said, " She was calling me for an audition at 11 in the night. Itna bhola toh nahi hoon main ki I won’t understand what auditions happen at night (I am not that naive to not understand her intentions for calling me at night). So, I told her that I have some work and I cannot make it." He added that the women tried to demotivate and manipulate him, saying that he would not get work in the industry. However, he did not let the warnings affect him much.
Shiv Thakare became a popular name after he participated in and won the Marathi version of Bigg Boss in 2019. Earlier, he participated in MTV Roadies Rising. In 2022, Shiv participated in Bigg Boss 16, hosted by Salman Khan, and soon became the audience favourite.
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