When you are a talkative and expressive person in real life, it definitely gets difficult to play someone who is so silent.
All my characters have their own political thoughts of the world around. If it is not in the script, I put it into them so that they become rooted to the local flavour.
No, I don’t think it is required for casting directors to be actors too. My mentor Gautam Kishanchandani cannot act to save his life!
For me, it was always that one extra job that you do to survive in the industry. I also realised that I was not well-sculpted as an actor because I was getting a lot of rejections. I stopped acting and focused on casting.
You are as good as your co-actor.
Everybody loves animals, but there is this special bond that few people have with animals and with nature.
I would not want compliments that ‘I can do different roles’. I want compliments that whatever I did, I did nicely. That’s how I see acting.
When I came to Mumbai, I knew that I am an actor but I am not a working actor. To keep this actor alive, I had to feed him, I took up the casting job so that I can run my house.
I think whenever you transform from normal light-hearted characters, to characters which might be out of your comfort zone or less relatable, that is double the work and commitment required to understand the society that character comes from.
I grew up in Chennai and was very much influenced by Rajinikant’s stardom and importance of cinema in Tamil culture.
Maybe because I am an actor-casting director, I always felt that we need good actors in the industry and we need to bring them at the top.
I did ‘Dirty Picture’ when I was only 24 years old. From there on, I kept on acting and learning about acting.
I’ll always be very proud of giving Priyanshu Painyuli and Siddhant Chaturvedi their first break. Both are phenomenal actors and I am very excited about their future.
When you are reacting to a good actor, your reactions become better. You get to know what to tone down and how to make yourself believe in those characters.
It feels great when you get to contribute in a show or a film in several ways. When you see lesser known actors coming in small roles and leaving an impact, you feel like they are your babies.
Casting director was a part-time thing, which later became a full-time job because there was a lack of casting directors in our industry and people were looking for professionals to do it.
But I was always an actor, and I kept telling myself that there will be a day when I will become a good actor.
I am proud of everyone I have given a break to. Of course, some have reached miles ahead and some are still not quite there, but they are all trying and working very hard.
I love both acting and casting, and the idea will be to pursue both.
My story is similar to every ordinary Indian boy’s tale. My father wanted me to become an engineer or a professional but I was sure that I have to be in the Hindi film industry. I joined college through the quota for extra curricular activities but I am still not a graduate.
I think writers should create characters who are human and have a character arc of their own.
Whether you believe it or not, you have to understand the politics. In every script, there is a political bend that the writer has included. Whether you like it or not, is on you. But it’s very important to know that politics.
I always think of my characters as alive human beings and try to generate questions around their life and understand their socio-political background. It was a lot of questioning and reading.
I’m cooking and taking the lockdown as an experience in cooking, trying different things. Apart from that it has been listeniing to music and watching documentaries.
That’s the beauty of creative industry that when one thing does not pan out, you have other things to do.
When I came to Mumbai to act and it didn’t work out for me for few years, I thought I will go back to training but casting room has been a great training space for me.
Because I have done different kinds of roles, I hope that people take me as an actor they want to experiment with.
The thing with the film industry is if you become popular in one kind of role, you keep getting cast in the same thing.
Then there is Abhimanyu Ray, Honey Trehan, Nandini Srikanth, Shanoo Sharma, we have so many great casting directors who have nothing to do with acting. You just need to have a great eye to understand the character.
I have always been an Amitabh Bachchan fan.
I was aiming for an acting career in 40. I never thought I would get recognition so early.
After ‘Stree’, I started believing that yes, I am an actor. ‘Paatal Lok’ happened at the right time, when I was ready to go deep, to create something of my own and I gave it all.