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When Manisha Koirala Refused To Pose In A Bikini: 'Either You Shoot Me Fully Clothed Otherwise I Am...'

Image was shared on Instagram. (Image courtesy: m_koirala)

New Delhi:

Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala, currently basking in the success of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi, recently opened up about an incident where she was asked to pose in a two-piece bikini by a renowned photographer. In an interview, she said, “Very early on in my career I was asked to go and take photographs, and there was this very famous photographer. I went with my mom, and initially, that photographer said things like, ‘You are the next superstar and this and that.’ Cut to him bringing a two-piece bikini to me and asking me to wear it. I told him, ‘Sir, I wear this when I go to the beach or for a swim, but if this is the way I have to get into the movies, I don’t want it, and I am not wearing that.’”

She added, “I told him either you shoot me fully clothed otherwise I am… ‘I remember he gave me a big dialogue. He said, ‘Jo mitti pighalne se sharmati ho uske murti kaise banaye (The clay that refuses to melt, how do I make a statue from it)’. I have not forgotten that.”

Talking to Filmfare, the Shehzada actor earlier spoke about the sexism that was prevalent in the movie industry in those days. “I faced some flak for it because in those days, the heroes could have many girlfriends, and they were called macho men, but the actress was supposed to be this, ‘no no no, nobody is touching me’ and ‘we are very untouched.’ It was also misunderstood that (she is) very easy or easy girl to you know… But I took it on my stride. Just because I have a personal life or I have a boyfriend doesn’t mean I am going to be unprofessional in my life. I love my work. We had some very warped value system for actresses, which didn’t go well with me.”

Recalling her experiences in the 90s, the actress continued, “At the time of Saudagar, there was a coke mixed with vodka, and I was told by people around me not not tell people that I am drinking vodka because actresses are not meant to be drinking alcohol. I was told to say that I’m drinking coke. I learnt that new thing. I told my mom, ‘I am drinking coke’, and she knew I put vodka in it and she said, ‘Listen, if you are drinking vodka, say you are drinking vodka, don’t say you are drinking coke, don’t lie for such small little things’. If I was dating somebody, I am dating somebody. You want to judge me? Go ahead and judge me but that’s me, this is me and I lead my life on my own terms.”