Scarlett Johansson was all set to play a transgender in Rub And Tug. However, the actress recently decided to drop out of the film. Reason? Her casting drew criticism from the LGBTQ community. Her casting came at a moment when the LGBTQ community and allies are encouraging the casting of transgender actors in those roles. But that isn’t the case in India. Anurag Kashyap, the part-director of India's first Netflix original, Sacred Games had a different problem at hand.
Whoever has watched Sacred Games, will know that there is a transgender character in the series played by Kubbra Sait. Sure, Kubbra has done a stellar job and is getting all the praise for it, but when we first watched the series, we wondered why a transgender wasn't cast for this role. Someone finally asked the same. Thankfully, Kashyap answered the question as he revealed that they did approach quite a few transgenders, but none wanted to represent the community on screen.
Transgenders have for long been a part of Mumbai’s underground party scene. But few have made it to the film industry. Bobby Darling is one such name that comes to mind, but the younger actress, it seems was difficult for Kashyap to find.
Anjali Ameer could perhaps be another name that could have played the role well? India’s first transsexual star down South has shared screen space with a big name like Mammooty.
Anjeli remained in the closet about her sexuality until she was dropped from a television show only to be picked up by the Malayalam Superstar. But even she has refrained from being labelled a transsexual actor in the past.
"People don't call Mammootty a male artist or Kavya Madhavan as a female artist. So why should I be called a transsexual artist? I want to be called just an artist,” she said in an interview.
Meanwhile, this seems to be the breakout role for Kubbra. And while we hope she isn’t typecast into similar roles, we’re sure the ones who said no to Kashyap are regretting their decision.