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Monday, July 06, 2020

Anurag Kashyap on cracking the casting code: I look for real people in actors

Anurag Kashyap said he also likes "the hungry stage" of a new actor as they are willing to put in all the hard work without being prompted.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: June 24, 2020 6:41:38 pm
anurag kashyap Anurag Kashyap’s Choked is streaming on Netflix. (Photo: Anurag Kashyap/Instagram)

Director Anurag Kashyap looks for real people in his performers and that’s his formula for getting the cast right almost always in his movies, which have introduced some of the finest actors to Hindi cinema with Gangs of Wasseypur being the apt example.

Kashyap said he also likes “the hungry stage” of a new actor as they are willing to put in all the hard work without being prompted.

“I need to sense the real person in my actors. The real person that exists within you is important for me. Rest I leave it to actors, they are intelligent enough to do their homework. That’s how I do my casting,” the director told PTI.

“You meet someone and feel ‘now, I will be able to complete my film’. I would not have made Ugly if I had not met Rahul Bhat. I know that he understood the pain of failure. I told him if you don’t colour your greys and also lose all muscles, I will make the film,” he said.

Kashyap said that’s how he gathered the cast for his Netflix film Choked – Saiyami Kher and Roshan Mathew, Viineet Kumar for Mukkabaaz and Taapsee Pannu for Manmarziyaan. Kumar had in the past worked with the director on his two-part revenge saga Gangs of Wasseypur, which turned eight this week, and anthology film Bombay Talkies.

“I told Viineet, if you become a boxer I will make the film. When we were auditioning, Taapsee came to meet scriptwriter Kanika Dhillon and as they kept talking, I realised ‘this is Rumi’. I offered ‘Choked’ to Saiyami the day I met her as I knew she will pull off the role and I had not even met Roshan, but had seen him in ‘Moothon’.”

Gangs of Wasseypur, which was populated with a host of characters, is known for giving recognition to many actors be it Richa Chadha, Huma Qureshi, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi and Jaideep Ahlawat, whose acting in the recent Amazon Prime Video series Paatal Lok was singled out for special praise.

Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was an emerging talent at that time, played the lead in the two parts of the film, often just referred by fans as simply Wasseypur.

Kashyap also repeated his Sacred Games actors Amruta Subhash and Rajshri Deshpande in Choked. While it was Deshpande’s second coming after the Netflix series Sacred Games, Subhash had also worked with him on Raman Raghav 2.0. Interestingly, both Raman Raghav 2.0 and Sacred Games starred Siddiqui as one of the two leads.

The director said he enjoys working with actors when they want to prove themselves.

“If you load them with a script and they are excited about it, they will go the extra mile themselves. All the casting in my films is good,” he added.

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