She is known for her work in the off-beat film circuit but Tannishtha Chatterjee says she was offered mainly independent movies as Bollywood "rejected" her for not fitting into a conventional image.
The actress has featured in films like "Angry Indian Goddesses", "Parched", "Unindian" and British film "Brick Lane".
Tannishtha says she has never shied away from commercial cinema but she moved to independent films when Bollywood shut its door on her.
"I don't come from a film family so when I first entered films, I was auditioning for roles which were mostly in the international space because those were the casting directors who were calling me," she said.
"Bollywood rejected me, because I probably didn't fit into the pretty image that they had for heroines. So, it was not my conscious decision. It is how my career took off and slowly I started making decision on the basis of the scripts that came to me," the actress added.
The 35-year-old actress was speaking at the 47th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI). She was part of a panel discussion on 'Changing Discourse around Women and Commerce in Cinema' presented by Vandan Malick.
Tannishtha, however, is proud of the work she has done as it has helped her evolve as a human being.
"I am very happy with the kind of work I have done. It exposed me to a lot of different things, not only as an artist but as a human being. I travelled so much, worked in so many cultures.
"I am happy with the choices. But yes, it wasn't my choice. I was pushed into it and it took that direction," she added.
While there are women oriented films which have worked at the box office, the actress feels there is still a long way to go and the change to do quality roles should begin with the artistes themselves.
"It is actually the duty of artists to change the narrative. I think it is a very lazy thing to say from creators that is the lowest common denominator, they want it, so we give them.
"I have suffered it recently in certain shows that I've walked out from. They say 'that's what the public wants' so we give them really crass jokes about rapes and racism," she said.