KINGS, India (Reuters) – The head of an Indian music and theatre troupe was sacked for not casting a male lead in the Bollywood film audition for a leading actress in a leading role, prompting outrage in the country.
A group of members of the Kolkata-based Dastak, a leading troupe in Kolkatta, said they have asked the Bhatkal Theatre in the western state of Karnataka to change the casting of Hardy in the film, called Aang’s Last Hunt.
Hardy, who is best known for his role in the 2013 Oscar-winning musical La La Land, was cast as a lead in a story about the discovery of the first white whale, in the Kutch region of Kerala state, which the Kauravas call the “Last Hunt.”
He plays the character of Dastarkar, the leader of a tribe that live in a cave.
The cast also includes Rishi Kapoor and Pranav Mani.
The decision to sack Hardy is an outrage in India, where male actors have been casting themselves for leading roles in recent years, while female stars like Bollywood star and former actor Salman Khan have had their roles cut short by casting directors who do not see female roles as viable.
Dastak has been staging the auditions of female musicians and actors for about a decade, including two of its current members.
They were asked to audition for the roles of Bollywood leads last month, but the casting director rejected their requests, citing the role of Hardie as a female lead.
“The casting director of the cast told us, ‘We have to change this role.
You can’t be a lead.
You are not a woman.
You need to play a male.
You will not have any success,'” said Aang Thane, one of the members of DASK who attended the audition.
“The cast has not had any problems with this casting director, he said, adding that it was a male casting director who had cast him as Dastankar.
Hardies cast director told us: ‘You can’t play a female role.
The character is not male.
He has no talent.
You have to be a male.’
The director also said, ‘You will not be successful.
You must have a female look,'” he told Reuters.
Hardie’s character, who has a long-term relationship with his daughter, is played by former Indian actress Kunal Kapoor.