One of the most successful interaction sessions during the ongoing International Film Festival of India 2019 (IFFI 2019) was of casting director Mukesh Chhabra. He was part of the speakers panel with other casting directors Nandini Srikent and Shruti Mahajan. Film trade analyst Komal Nahta conducted the session.
The panelists agreed that persistence is the key to being a good casting director as one needs to go through multiple auditions before locking on the right actor for the role.
Mukesh observed now the field is more professional. He said, “Please make sure who you are meeting. That’s why we have spent so much and made offices.”
He had one simple advice to aspiring actors. “Please focus on acting. Keep working on your skill and trust your own talent.”
He added, “Fear of rejection is part of this job. You’re in a profession where you have to deal with it everyday. Don’t judge the feedback you receive based on one day.”
At one point, he even joked, “Acting isn’t about Instagram filters.”
To which, Nandini added, “Keep at it. Don’t wait for that big break. Keep doing everything connected to acting. It’s the fun of it.”
Nandini, who has worked on projects such as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Luck By Chance, said, “It’s a continuous process. As the process goes along, you find the right character. Its’ collaborative part of filmmaking with all departments to find the characters.”
Shruti, who has been associated with films like Ram Leela and Mary Kom, said, “You work together to get the soul of the film right. Since the focus is on casting in the pre-production phase there is pressure to give your best.”
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