Actor Parvathy recently gave a no-holds-barred interview on a talk show hosted by RJ Mathukutty. In an hour-long chat, she candidly spoke about the good, the bad and the ugly truth of the film industry. Parvathy also recalled her struggling days, when she faced difficulties in signing a film because she refused to give into lecherous demands made by some of the Malayalam filmmakers.
“There are people in the industry who ask women to sleep with them in order to get a role. I have been asked. They ask very blatantly as if it is their right. I have said NO. After a point, when you have made a mark in the industry, they won’t ask you,” Parvathy said.
The interviewer asked her if the casting couch is practised in the Malayalam film industry too. “Of course there is casting couch in the Malayalam industry. I’m sure that you know that and I know a lot of people know that. I don’t understand why it comes as a surprise at all. It is there in many other industries also. It’s a reality, why are we even shocked about it?” she asked.
She also noted that maybe film offers for her began to dry up in the past because she refused to toe the line of some people. “I haven’t faced casting couch in any other industry, including Tamil, Kannada Hindi but only in Malayalam industry. It was sort of an obligation. See we gave you the break and I was like what break dude? I already did my job and I don’t think I have to do anything more,” she said.
Parvathy added that she was not trying to make controversial statements but she knows that everybody knew about this ugly truth. “There was a time in the Malayalam industry, it was expected of me. It was asked very openly by senior actors and directors. But, I never worked with those people. The movies I have done are not like that. Maybe that’s the reason why I did not get to do films for a long time. The thing is I didn’t care. I did other movies in Tamil and Kannada. Some people even tried to convince me that this is how the industry works. And I was like in that case, I don’t want to do it. I will go and do something else… do my literature. We (read women) should realise that we have the power to say NO,” she said.
Parvathy is now dubbed as ‘Lady Prithviraj’ referring to her hard-earned stardom in Mollywood. But, there is always more to a story than what meets the eye. She had her own share of struggles and trying times until she reached where she is today.
Parvathy also said that men use body shaming against women as a way to control them. “I have been shocked at some senior actors, who made lewd comments on my body. They think it is normal and in fact, I thought it was normal. But, much later I failed to see how that is a normal thing,” she said, while stressing that this is the mentality that leads to crimes like acid attacks against women.
Parvathy also suggested that she doesn’t feel angry about men who seek sexual favours from women as she sort of feel pity for them. “Some of our life experience makes us weary of love and make it difficult to forgive others. I don’t have anger and hatred towards the people who have asked me that,” she said. “How sad is that life when a man thinks that his manliness comes with asking sexual favours from a woman. That’s the saddest way of being a man,” she added.
Parvathy is currently basking in the success of her latest film Take Off, which has received good reviews from the fans and media alike.