Only talent fetches audience in long run, says casting director

Mumbai, Sep 23
Even as a slew of Bollywood celebrities' children are ready to take the plunge into the world of showbiz, casting director Dinesh Sudarshan Soi says talent comes first as that's what matters in the long run.

As a casting director, what does he give preference to -- star kids or pure talent?

"Both. Viewers welcome star kids as they want to see how the kids of their favourite stars perform in front of the camera. So, the makers get connected to the audience and get mileage by taking in star kids who have grown in the film environment and understand how the industry functions.

"But till date, I have always been in favour of pure talent -- be it a star's kid or any actor who has no connection in the industry, because ultimately it's talent only which will fetch the audience in the long run," Soi told IANS in an email interview.

Soi, who says he has a record of working on over 4,000 projects across national and international films, festival films, short films, ad films, TV shows and music videos, began his tryst with showbiz in 2002.

"I started participating in cultural programmes during my school days only. While I was doing my graduation in 2002, I had built up very good circle of artistes to whom I used to recommend to different directors for different projects. I always felt immense satisfaction by giving work to the deserving artists.

"And after the shoot when the director/producer used to appreciate my casting, I felt very happy. That's how it started."

Back then, a casting director was not given as much importance as today.

"In those days, this job was being done by directors or production people themselves. They used to call the artistes who were in their circle or whom they knew. But that process had a limitation as many a good artistes would not get work," said Soi, who believes that a good casting director has a good casting sense, excellent database and updated knowledge of artistes.

"With this, right artists come in touch with right directors. Correct casting is half the battle won. That's why casting directors are gaining more respect nowadays and have become an integral part of production houses."

Plus, the scenario has also changed with evolved content.

"It's an era where content is working and the good actors who fit into that content have ample opportunities now... Now makers do not hesitate to take character artistes as lead if the story demands. Audience is also liking this and it's good," Soi said.

He has cast an upcoming small town-set film "Family Of Thakurganj", which has a very interesting melange of film and television actors.

"It's a beautiful story based on family relations. There are 116 actors among whom only 14 have been cast from Mumbai, while rest of the whole cast which comprises many substantial characters, have been assembled from Uttar Pradesh only.

"By doing this, we are getting that typical local UP flavour in the language, look and feel. We got what we wanted and actors also got good roles, especially those who are not from Mumbai or never been to Mumbai. So it's win-win situation."

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