Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is known to be forthright and outspoken on issues pertaining to women and society. She talks of the hurdle of the casting couch as well as her aspirations, in an interview to DC on the sidelines of a promotional event for her film Velvet Nagaram.
Women should say a strong ‘no’ and walk out, rather than giving in to the casting couch and then complaining about it, said the actress who was one of those who supported the #Me Too movement in South India. “If they choose to say ‘yes’, fearing to lose chances in films, that’s a choice they make,” she said.
Varalaxmi, who had spoken about her encounters with the casting couch on earlier occasions too, reiterated that she herself had faced the issue despite being the daughter of a popular film hero and politician.
“But I have learnt to say ‘no’ and have lost many films in the past. My journey has been a long struggle, but today I am standing on my own feet and I have completed 25 films and signed my 29th flick”, she said, meaning that she had worked with 25 reputed producers and filmmakers and managed to move ahead in her career without making compromises.
Having said that, Varalaxmi was quick to add that she does not judge anyone who chooses the casting couch way. “That decision needs a lot of courage and a person has to be very strong to accept that route”, she said.
When it was pointed out that a lot of people criticise actors for entering politics just because iconic personalities like MGR and Jayalalithaa were successful, she retorts with “Why not?” Anyone who can influence people can come into politics, the young actress feels.
That brought up the next question. “How about you?” and she said, “I am not scared to raise my voice for what I believe is right. I will enter politics one day, but right now my concentration is on my films. I am also keen to direct films. I have been toying with a few ideas (scripts). That will be my next step in the film industry. Politics, yes, later on.”