The demise of Sushant Singh Rajput has put the spotlight back on mental health and nepotism in the film industry. Many have alleged that deep-rooted nepotism in Bollywood deprived the young actor of opportunities, which in turn took a toll on his physiological well-being and eventually led him to take an extreme step. However, it seems the grass is not greener down south too.
Neeraj Madhav recently wrote a lengthy post on the challenges of being an “outsider” in the Malayalam film industry. The actor suggested that the power structure in Mollywood demands unquestionable compliance from young actors. He claimed that there were consequences if young actors chose to defy “unwritten rules” of the industry.
“When I look back on six years of my career in the industry, I seem to have broken many of these rules. I have also faced the repercussions,” Neeraj wrote in his Facebook post.
Neeraj Madhav noted that hierarchy was systematically implemented on film sets. He also claimed that sitting in a cross-legged position, wearing sunglasses on the sets, and sharing one’s views on the script were all considered to be signs of arrogance. “On the sets, one needs to fake humility, cooperation and subservience,” Madhav said. The actor also added that he lost out on opportunities because he came across as a bit “demanding.”
Neeraj went on to wonder how daunting it would be to survive in a big industry like Bollywood when it was so difficult for him to make a mark in a small industry like Mollywood.
Neeraj Madhav recalled that during the filming of The Family Man, he was offered a role in Chhichhore, which starred Sushant in the lead role. However, he had to opt-out of the project due to date issues. “Perhaps, if I had worked in that film, I would have had the opportunity to know Sushant personally. And I could have been able to relate to him on the account that neither of us had a godfather in the industry. Maybe Sushant and I could have become friends,” he said.
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