Bold, courageous, confident and the one to speak her mind — that’s how Mahie Gill is portrayed in her onscreen characters. But, in real life, the actor says she is quite the opposite. However, this hasn’t stopped her from talking about how she faced casting couch during her initial days in the film industry.
The actor shares that there have been instances when people tried to make indecent advances to her in return for work. “It happened with me a few times. I don’t even remember the name of the directors. I had to meet a director, so I wore a [salwar] suit and went, and he told me, ‘If you wear a suit and come, nobody is going to cast you in a film.’ Then, I met another director and he tells me, ‘I want to see how you look in a nightie’. So, you see, there are idiots all around.”
Mahie adds that such incidents made her confused about how things worked in the industry. “I was so new to Mumbai, so, I didn’t know who was right and who was wrong. And when people know you are new in the industry and struggling while they’ve been sitting in Mumbai for so many years, you tend to listen to them. I mean, I actually started to think that ‘achha, aisa hota hai ki suit pehnne se role nahi milte aur koi kaam nahi dega?’ So, with everyone trying to give you free advice, it’s very difficult to meet the right kind of people,” adds Mahie, who will next be seen in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3.
For a newcomer, naïve to the ways of glamour world, Mahie says it wasn’t easy to deal with such situation. Asked how she managed to avoid such traps, she says, “I was anyway nervous while meeting people, so, whenever someone tried to give me stupid logic or guide me in any way, I used to run away. I just used to leave that place.”
The actor admits that “it really affects” one’s state of mind. “After all this, you don’t know who to meet, how to meet. There was a point when I stopped meeting people in their offices and I even used to take a friend along with me so that people don’t try to act smart. But then, you want money also, so, I started doing some serials also on Doordarshan just to earn,” says Mahie, who made her Bollywood debut in 2009 with the film Dev D.