Actress Kani Kusruti quit acting in Malayalam films because she was asked for sexual favours by filmmakers. Many asked her to ‘make adjustments’ to survive in the film industry.
Speaking at a discussion at the recent Kochi Muziris Biennale, she said she always wanted to be in the film industry. However, in Malayalam, many asked her for sexual favours if she wanted to be a part of their films. There were also a lot of restrictions for a female actor, and she found it hard to survive in the industry. So she decided to quit acting.
She said that the worst part in such cases, was when people approached her mother asking to convince Kani to ‘adjust’ to get film offers. According to a news report, she said, “Many even came to my mom telling that her daughter needed to make adjustments for film offers!”
She added that she continued acting in theater plays, but couldn’t get enough pay for her work. After the #MeToo movement, she hopes that the industry will be better to its women. She is a part of Women in Cinema Collective, a forum which aims for gender equality in Malayalam cinema. Many actresses like Parvathy, Rima Kallingal, Revathy are core members of the forum.
Kani Kusruti, who hails from Kerala, acted in a few Malayalam films like Oru Indian Pranayakadha, North 24 Kaatham, Hotel California and Kerala cafe. She also acted in the Tamil films Pisasu and Burma. Her performance in the short film Maa was critically acclaimed. The story revolves around a young mother (Kani Kusruti) who finds out that her school going daughter (Anikha) is pregnant, and she needs to support her and find a solution to the issue. Kusruti is known for her unconventional acting skills. Before joining the film industry, she studied theater at the L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
The official trailer of her crowdfunded Tamil film Thadayam released recently.
Image courtesy: facebook.com/kani.kusruti