Although Bollywood is evolving in terms of sexism, safety of women, representation of women in cinema and other aspects, it still has a long way to go. For a newcomer with no film background entering the industry it is usually a daunting place to be, as there are many accounts of newcomers being taken advantage of. When Elli Avram moved from Sweden to Mumbai to give her acting career a shot, she too faced incidents of harassment, and sexism which are frightening.
Speaking to Pinkvilla, Elli Avram recounted an incident when she was condescendingly put down for her looks. She said, "I was told I needed to lose weight. They said I'm short and I was told about my forehead and my teeth. One girl who was connected to Bollywood told me, 'Oh, but sweetheart you can never become an actress because you're too short. I choose not to listen to that. Within two months of me being in India, I felt I don't have it. Some felt I looked old like an aunty because of my long hair."
Narrating one particular incident of when a director indicated that he wanted to sleep with her, she said, "I had gone for a few meetings. I met these two directors who especially shaked my hand and scratched it with one of the fingers. After that one meeting, I asked my friend about it. He was shocked and said, "Oh, no did he do that? Do you know what that means?' I didn't know and he told me that he wanted to sleep with me."
Elli was even replaced in a movie because the lead actor did not like her. "It's been tough. I remember this very big movie where they wanted to have me and I was so excited to have that movie. Suddenly, the actor had problem and that's why the producer took a call and replaced me. That would have been it but it's been hard times," she said.
After participating in Bigg Boss 7, Elli went on to make cameos in movies like Naam Shabana, Poster Boys, Baazaar, Fraud Saiyaan, and recently, Jabariya Jodi.