Actresses claim auditions for Ashley Judd sex trafficking film involved simulated rape and violence which 'left them bruised and scared out of their minds'
- Actresses who auditioned for 'Trafficking' starring Ashley Judd say the violent casting process left them terrified
- They say the were groped, licked, and in tears during the auditioning?process
- One actress, Sanchita Malik, says her audition entailed a simulated rape scene where an actor was simulating forcing his penis into her
- A complaint was filed by Malik with the actors' union after her 2015 audition
- The producers counter the actress is 'exaggerating and embellishing' her claims
Actresses who auditioned for the film Trafficked starring Ashley Judd have complained about the casting process, with one saying the simulated rape that was part of her audition crossed the line.
Actress, Sanchita Malik, then 20, said her 2015 audition saw her hair pulled, her neck and body licked, and that she was shoved against a wall by a fellow actor.
Malik says the actor 'simulated rape by 'pretending to force his penis in me.' She adds 'He was making grunting sounds and I was just crying and laying there,' Malik tells The Hollywood Reporter.
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Several actresses said their experience during the auditions for 'Trafficked' starring Ashley Judd left them bruised and scared after violent casting exercises?
Alpa Banker, right, defended the casting process saying it was helpful to understand the gritty nature of sex-trafficking?
She claims she suffered from chronic panic attacks long afterward, which she says required therapy.
The actress contacted SAG-AFTRA the day after her audition and filed a grievance with the actors' union.
In a statement she posted to Facebook this October, prompted by the Harvey Weinstein allegations, which began with Judd's own experience with the disgraced director, Malik says she was surprised to learn she would be auditioning alongside another actress in an extended exercise with male counterparts acting as sex slave owners and brothel clients, who were coached to replicate sexual harassment and assault.
The scenes, however, did prohibit touching genitals and breasts.???
THR reports that the director, Will Wallace, was removed from the project during post production?over a disagreement involving the depiction of rape.
Four other actresses who participated in the same May 20 group exercise, also shared their experience, but asked not to be named so they could express their views freely.
All agreed with Malik's contention that they felt blindsided by the exercise's violence.
'It's to-date probably the craziest audition experience I've gone through — it was unnecessary and overkill,' said one. 'You didn't need to see that to know if these were the actors you wanted.'??
All of them agreed with Malik's assertion that the session was at times unnecessarily physical, reporting dragging, grabbing and pinching.
Sanchita Malik (pictured) said during her audition a simulated rape scene crossed the line and left her traumatized?
Scene from 'Trafficked' (2017) ?Jessica Obilom (in print skirt) and Brian Thompson (right)
'I think we all definitely had some bruises when we left,' said another.?
A third added: 'I think [the filmmakers] were super-clueless and didn't know this was not normal. I remember being really scared out of my mind. I know they were trying to get us there emotionally, but that's not how they should have been doing it.'
The films producers, Conroy Kanter and Siddharth Kara, describe Malik's claims as 'deeply distressing' but said her recounting of the day's events involved 'a significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of intensity, crudeness and physicality of the casting session.'?
Alpa Banker, another actress who was part of the session and eventually selected for the role of Amba, spoke out in defense of the casting process.
She said although she was also bruised, and admitted the exercise was tough, Banker added 'I wanted to get out of there; the next male I saw I wanted to drop-kick' — but felt it was appropriate in light of the nature of the film'
'We were suburban first-world girls pretending to be trafficked,' she said. 'How else to understand? It's like stage combat. You have to go with it, like a dance.'
Banker added, 'The ethics of letting things go that far? I don't know how other directors have handled it, but I think it was a useful exercise. It wasn't traumatic. It wasn't sexual harassment or assault.'
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