Producer Ekta Kapoor on Tuesday said she would rather cast an unknown face in her project than have a star kid, who doesn’t fit the character.
Ekta, who has launched some of the biggest TV stars like Smriti Irani, Prachi Desai and Mouni Roy, says she gets calls from influential people with requests to cast their kin but she only selects an actor on the basis of how good his or her audition goes.
The producer shared her opinion on nepotism at the trailer launch of her upcoming production, Laila Majnu. The film stars Avinash Tiwary and Tripti Dimri.
“If I felt that someone wasn’t good in the audition as Laila Majnu but they were Instagram stars or star kids then even if I would have sold the film, I wouldn’t have been satisfied. These two were the best in the audition. So, they got the role.
“Trust me I get calls from politicians, actors, friends and bureaucrats, who call for casting. My mom says ‘You don’t answer these calls and we have to bear the brunt.’ And I tell her that I can’t help, it’s my job,” Ekta told reporters.
The producer added that there is surely a financial stress when casting unknown faces but it is “far lesser than the stress of not being honest to your job.”
Ekta Kapoor also had a word of advice for aspiring actors who approach her through different means for a break. “I would like to tell them that don’t stalk me. Don’t follow me, or take my number and drop me texts. Don’t meet me in a park. That’s called stalking.
“Don’t ask you politician and bureaucrat uncles to get you cast. That’s a dampener. Tape your work and if that reaches me then be rest assured that if you fit the role, you will be cast. Your legacy or background will not matter,” she said.
The producer further said that if her project with a newcomer fails she can make two TV shows for her company to not suffer, but she will not compromise on getting creative aesthetics right.
“I don’t do nepotism. I don’t have a problem with it but I may take a different route. I might pick a route that’s not entirely business friendly. At the end, if a film doesn’t do well, I will make two shows so that the company doesn’t suffer but I will give it back (to the industry),” she said.
Written by Imtiaz Ali and directed by his brother Sajid Ali, Laila Majnu will arrive in theatres on September 7.