It’s generally a sign of a dysfunction system when capable individuals are forced to accept opportunities lesser than their caliber. For instance, how some of our most talented character actors have often been sidelined by Bollywood. 


It is in fact, the actors who’ve not received projects that they truly deserve, know how the system is broken. Or simply put, know where our industry is going wrong. And many of these actors have spoken up about the industry biases, and called out Bollywood:

1. Sheeba Chadha 

Sheeba Chadha‘s talent stares at you right in the eyes, there’s no denying it. And a few years back, the actor spoke up about the discrepancy in how Bollywood treats character-actors as opposed to how it treats main leads.  

It’s really really sad, because they will want a certain kind of actor for a role but then refuse to pay beyond the bare minimum. I refused two films recently, because the money was ridiculous.

-Sheeba Chadha told ScoopWhoop

2. Deepak Dobriyal

One can easily call him an acting gem for lighting up a scene with his screen presence. Deepak Dobriyal once talked about declining big film offers because of the arrogance he was met with, by filmmakers. That, and unfortunately, how little they offered him in exchange for his talent. 

I had said no to a lot of producers and directors in the last four-five years. At some places there were attitude problems or monetary issues. There was this arrogance that, ‘We are giving you mileage, a big banner, we won’t pay you.’

-Deepak Dobriyal to PTI

3. Kunal Kemmu

Kunal Kemmu is one of the few actors who the Indian audience wants to see more of. In fact, in an interview, the actor talked about deserving more, and feeling like his talent has been under-utilised. 

Today, I don’t feel underrated but under-utilised… On one side, I feel that I do deserve more and I should have got more but at the same time, I’m thankful for what I have because I could have very well been a forgotten memory.  

-Kunal Kemmu told PTI

4. Shreyas Talpade

In an interview, Shreyas Talpade talked about the unfairness in how certain actors in the film industry receive offers from big banners and work in spite of experiencing multiple movie set backs. 

There are certain films of mine which bombed at the box office and there are certain films of certain actors which didn’t work but yet those actors keep getting work from big banners and you wonder how? 

-Shreyas Talpade to News18

5. Harish Patel 

Harish Patel was full of talent long before we saw him in Eternals. And it is frankly a little sad to know that the actor has faced popularity-based discrimination by filmmakers. 

Not everyone is like this, but imagine, if the director and producer don’t have time to talk to me, then how can I work with them? I don’t care for these people. And I believe in destiny; what’s meant to happen will happen.

-Harish Patel told Pinkvilla


6. Sharat Saxena

Sharat Saxena talked about how pervasive ageism still is in Bollywood, even for male actors and how he has gone unacknowledged because of his age. 

Jahaan aap budhe lagne lage, you are thrown out of the film industry… I am 71 but I have to try and look 45 years old. This is how it is. The moment you start looking old, you are thrown out of the film industry. This is a young people’s industry.

-Sharat Saxena told New Indian Express

6. Harsh Chhaya

In an interview, Harsh Chhaya spoke about the lack of opportunities Indian actors have to come to terms with. Not to mention how, often, talented actors are handed secondary roles whereas the ‘stars’ of our industry get to play the main leads. 

In our industry, there is a general lack of opportunities for talented actors. We can clearly say that there is a lot of talent in the film industry, but unfortunately, good actors have to play merry-go-round around the stars in our films.

-Harsh Chhaya to TNN


7. Ashish Vidyarthi

And in another disheartening case of an actor knowing full, and well that he deserves better, that his talent deserves better, Ashish Vidyarthi talked about how he had to accept whatever projects that came his way. 

Meri kismat mein aisa raha, ki maine kuchh chuna nahi. Jo mere pass aaya, maine kiya. Mere liye bahut saaf tha ki maine apne maa baap ko sambhalna hai, family ko sambhalna hai.

-Ashish Vidyarthi told Bollywood Hungama

Here’s hoping the industry changes for the better, and gives actors the chance basis their talent, and not because they’re a ‘star’.