Mukesh Chhabra is turning filmmaker with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next production and the ace casting director has revealed the movie will be an out-and-out love story.
The film will mark Bollywood debut of veteran actor Vinod Khanna’s son Sakshi.
“I am already finish writing the movie. It will be a love story. The film is in its initial stages so I can’t talk much right now,” Chhabra told PTI. The female lead is yet to be cast.
He, however, would not quit his job of a casting professional and wants to juggle it with his directorial stint.
Chhabra revealed he has “about 15” films in his kitty for casting. “I will never leave casting. This is how I started and I would do it throughout my career. Both the things will go together. Currently I am handling Anurag Kashyap’s next (with Nawazuddin Siddiqui), Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Tum Bin 2’ and an AR Rahman production…”
When asked which film has been his most difficult casting ever, the 35-year-old said, “‘PK’, ‘Rangoon’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘Chillar Party’, ‘Fitoor’ and ‘Badlapur’ are some of the films where I had difficulty. ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ required a large number of people so that was a task and in ‘Fitoor’, the problem was about finding the right kids because they are very important in the story.”
Chhabra feels the importance of right casting has increased a lot in the industry and the directors have realized that without (good) actors the kind of films they want to make won’t work.
Clashes between casting directors and filmmakers due to different choices for certain roles are common but Mukesh said he never had to compromise on his say just for the sake of the producer/director.
“I have a lot of fights with the directors/producers. I don’t agree with them always. I don’t listen to the director always. We fight then we come to a common platform and go ahead. I have crossed that stage where one feels the pressure of having a different choice than the filmmakers. They give me respect and listen to me.”
The casting director recently launched his own three-day theatre fest “Khidkiyaan Theatre Festival” in Mumbai. From directors like Imtiaz Ali and Vikas Bahl to actors Manoj Bajpayee and Sushant Singh Rajput, Bollywood showed support for his initiative.
The director, who hails from Delhi and was an active participant of the city’s theatre culture, said he would love to direct Bollywood actors in a play. “If given a chance, I would love to helm a play starring Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin. That will be great.”