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Surveen Chawla says she faced casting couch in south Indian film industry: ‘A woman’s weight, waist size and chest size are questioned’

Surveen Chawla, who'd next be seen in web show Decoupled opposite R Madhavan, got candid about facing casting couch and body shaming in the entertainment industry.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
December 14, 2021 10:56:24 am
Surveen Chawla on her Sacred Games 2 characterSurveen Chawla got married in 2015. (Photo: Instagram/Surveen Chawla)

Actor Surveen Chawla has called out the supposed physical “parameters” that question a female artiste’s future in the country’s entertainment industry. During a chat with RJ Siddharth Kannan while promoting her latest web show Decoupled opposite R Madhavan, Surveen got candid about facing casting couch and body shaming at work.

Surveen pointed out at people who “get you in this space where you question yourself.” She recalled that it was the time she was trying to make a transition from television to films. It happened during her first film meeting in Mumbai. She said the experience made her doubt herself as her ‘appearance, weight and waist size, chest size’ was questioned. She said that these are not the right parameters that should define a woman.

Pointing out that a lot of it happened in the south Indian film industry, she added that things have changed over the past few years. She said that it was a difficult phase earlier, but things are changing with things like body shaming, mental health and rejections being talked about.

Surveen made her acting debut with television soap opera Kahin To Hoga in 2003. She went on to be part of TV shows like Kasautii Zindagi Kay, Kaajjal and 24. She entered films in 2008 with Kannada film Paramesha Panwala, and was later seen in Hum Tum Shabana, Ugly, Hate Story 2, Parched and short film Chhuri, apart from several prominent Punjabi movies. Surveen had a remarkable turn in career when she appeared in Sacred Games (2019) and web show Haq Se.

Siddharth Kannan asked her why she kept her marriage under wraps for two years, and whether mindset towards a married female actor has changed in our industry. Surveen said her husband is media shy, and that became the the primary reason. So they made a decision mutually. Surveen said that as the wedding took place in the presence of 40 close people, there wasn’t anything to reveal. She got married in 2015 and revealed it in 2017.

Surveen added that she however evolved “because from that experience, something inside me changed, my mental health got better after the release of the film.” She said those two years taught her “to give a damn.”

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