Substance abuse common in film industry: Mahesh Bhatt

Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and his daughter Pooja Bhatt. PTI file photo

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt says the movie industry is such a "high stress business" that it consumes people, often making them prone to substance abuse and mood swings.

The filmmaker says the constant urge to get validation for one's work could be terrifying.

"It (films) is a high-stress business and that's why not many can do it. That's why you have people prone to substance abuse, mood swings. You have a tendency to gravitate towards depression because you are dependent continuously," Bhatt told reporters.

"When you show a trailer, you constantly wonder if there'll be claps. It takes a lot of courage to be on the centre stage and hope that people will shower compliments on you. However big a filmmaker is, the day the film opens, everyone is scared," he added.

The director was speaking at the trailer launch of "Dark side of Life: Mumbai City", in which he will be making his acting debut.

Bhatt said surviving in the showbiz is not everyone's cup of tea.

"No one has been saved by this and this is the entertainment industry's speciality. That's the way it has been and it'll remain so. Very few can sustain this, others leave and run away," he said.

Bhatt also opened up about his daughter Shaheen who was diagnosed with clinical depression and said she will chronicle her experience in a memoir to be released in October.

"My daughter Shaheen discovered she's suffering from clinical depression at 16. She also came to a point of considering suicide at the age of 12-13. This happened at home.

"Even in our industry, a girl gave away her life. She came to us for work once but we couldn't work together. I still remember seeing her body, the one who came here to work. I've seen this side of the city too," he said.

The movie, directed by Tariq Khan, also stars KK Menon, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, Avi Parsdasani and is scheduled to release on October 19. 

  • Mahesh Bhatt