After becoming a household name with her portrayal of Bani in Ekta Kapoor's Kasamh Se, Prachi Desai stepped in Bollywood with Farhan Akhtar's 2018 film Rock On. In a career spanning over a decade, the Azhar actress did fewer films as compared to some of her contemporaries.
In a recent tete-a-tete with a leading tabloid, Prachi opened up about why she was selective about her work. The actress revealed that she turned down some big films because they were very sexist.
Speaking about being choosy about her work, Prachi told ETimes, "The gap in my work was not a conscious one. From the beginning, I've been a bit of a game-changer. I landed a TV show as the leading lady when I was just out of high school, and then, I debuted in films with Rock On!! when I was freshly out of TV. It was all early on in my career and it was rare for someone to get these opportunities so quickly. But even then, I worked on my own terms and I am still like that. Yes, I know that a lot of people want to be visible, but I have not played by that rule. There are various reasons I was not exactly on the radar."
Prachi also opened up about how she was advised by several male producers and directors to work on being hot and that's one of the reasons why she picked up less work.
"When I look back, I realise how big the gap has been. I have never wanted to work in films that are sexist. And in this industry, I have fought with this notion for a long time. All that people wanted me to be was "hot". How does a woman only get defined by that? Why is it that everyone wants to change a woman's imagery, regardless of who or how she is? The feedback I got from several male producers and directors was that I had to work on being hot. So, I picked less work and I chose to stay away. I said no to some big, but very sexist films."
The actress said that she felt disrespected by some prominent filmmakers who made her feel that they were doing a favour on her by casting her in their films.
Prachi was quoted as saying, "There were some prominent directors who approached me, but I felt disrespected by them. It felt like they were doing me a favour by giving me a role in their film." The actress also recalled how she would go all the way to meet the filmmakers, but they would refrain from sharing what they had in mind for her.
She elaborated, "The problem is that they were not used to someone saying no in the absence of a narration or a script. On many occasions, I would go all the way to meet the filmmakers, but they would not want to tell me what they had in mind for me. Neither would they share a script, nor would they narrate the story. It's like me going for a look-test but refusing to show my face. I could not possibly give the nod to a film like that. I dealt with this for two years before deciding to not put up with it anymore. The notion that others developed was that I was not interested. Word spread, and some people merely on hearsay didn't approach me."
Prachi who had been missing on screen for a long time, recently featured in Manoj Bajpayee's Zee5 film Silence: Can You Hear It?
Talking about how she bagged the project, the actress told ETime, "I recently did a movie for the web. I got a brief on the phone, and then, a screenplay was shared and I liked what I read. I loved the role and it was done."
The actress further revealed that she is keen to experiment with her roles from hereon.