Bengali actor Sreelekha Mitra has claimed to have suffered professional setbacks due to the power play in the Bengali film industry. Mitra’s allegations come in the wake of the untimely demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, which brought Bollywood under radar for making it tough for “outsiders” to survive. In a video shared on her YouTube channel, Mitra claimed that during the ‘90s and early 2000s she was denied lead roles in Bengali films at the behest of a superstar.
“I was asked to play second lead or feature in the role of sister of big hero but was overlooked for playing the female lead despite having all qualities,” she said in the video. Mitra, best known for her performance in film like “Kaantatar”, “Hotath Bristi” and “Aschorjo Prodip”, claimed that the superstar was adamant on working with another female actor.
The 44-year-old actor said she had struggled with a lot of negativity and has tried hard to not lose her sanity. “There have been difficult times, but I have been fighting it out. I have been struggling against injustice for many years,” she added.
When it comes to casting a female lead, Mitra said heroes in Bengali film industry always have their preferences set and don’t let any other actor get a chance to perform opposite them. "As a female actor with lots of potential, I regret I was never considered a contender for a lead role. I was never given the chance," she said in the video posted on Friday.
Responding to Mitra’s claims, director Haranath Chakraborty said actors never interfere with filmmaker’s casting decisions. “Sreelekha's comments are unfortunate. Directors cast actors, including lead pairs, based on their audience pull and how they become the characters. Actors don't influence directors and producers about casting someone or not,” Chakraborty told.