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Quite unfair – Was once rejected because actor-producer demanded somebody fairer: Nikita Dutta

Actor Nikita Dutta on facing discrimination in Bollywood, the impact of the digital medium on the entertainment industry and more.

Actor Nikita Dutta is an actor of all three mediums. She made her debut with director Arif Ali’s Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014 but it was television that made her a household name, courtesy her successful romantic drama Ek Duje Ke Vaaste (2016). Now, the actor is looking forward to an upcoming Netflix film (Maska) and Abhishek Bachchan-starrer The Big Bull on the big screen.

“When I started my TV career, people told me, ‘Don’t do it. It’s a black hole and you will get typecast. You will never be able to do films,” Nikita tells in an interview.

The actor shares that today, both digital and television have gained enough credibility and a standing of their own, and the people, who dissuaded her from venturing into TV, don’t hold the same opinion anymore.

Nikita Dutta

“It has changed now. Their opinion has changed. In a very good way the three mediums have blended with each other where people are doing all three. So, that’s a good part of it. And the best thing is that digital is giving so many opportunities to people out there from every field in this industry,” she says.

Even as many actors from television are seen switching to films today, the film industry continues to hold a prejudice against the small screen artistes. In Nikita’s experience, people haven’t considered for a role on the basis of the assumption that she has “a certain audience because of her TV background and she wouldn’t fit the role.”

“A lot of times people don’t consider you because they are like, ‘Oh she has done TV, she already has that kind of audience. Probably she doesn’t fit into that role,’ without probably seeing how you act. I will agree to little bit of discrimination… It takes a while to get out of it. You have to do a lot to prove yourself that, ‘We are from television and we can still act,’” Nikita says.

The actor has faced discrimination not only on the basis of her acting medium, but also because of her skin colour. Recalling one conversation with a casting director for a film seven years ago, Nikita says she was told that she is dark-skinned, something that her male co-star, who was also the film’s producer, didn’t prefer.

“The most ridiculous thing for me was in 2013 when I was told, ‘You are slightly dark-skinned and we need somebody fairer.’ Not because the role demanded it but because of the actor-cum-producer’s preference. This was something I got to hear, which made me really angry but then everything happens for a reason.”

While Maska, also featuring Manisha Koirala and Shirley Setia, drops on Netflix this Friday, The Big Bull that also stars actor Ileana D’Cruz will arrive in the theatres on October 23.

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