Exclusive interview for IndiaGBnews by Mumbai bureau chief and Bollywood actor Hemang Palan.
STARTING his career in Mumbai’s television industry as an actor and now a well known name, Prithvirajsingh Raulji had no idea what destiny had in store for him.
Being in the casting world for now for many years, he has achieved experience that is well respected and recognized by the producers of Indian television shows.
Today, Prithvirajsingh Raulji, pictured, is considered as Indian television industry’s most sought after and well known casting director.
What made you think of becoming a casting director? Isn’t it a very stressful job? Did you undergo a struggle period before getting the recognition in Indian television industry?
In fact, I had no ambition of becoming a casting director. I migrated from Gujarat to Mumbai to become an actor. That was my dream! Thereafter, I went through a period of struggle and uncertainty to bag acting assignments. As my father was to retire from his service in Gujarat State Police department, I thought of creating a steady stream of income for the family and thus started working as an assistant to a very well known casting director, Ms Naziya Kamal. My acting skills and knowledge about characterization thus helped me to work as an associate casting director in ‘Hats Off Production’ under Ms Naziya.
Yes. A casting director’s job is indeed very stressful. It’s very challenging and tough to deny the roles of particular characters to unsuitable actors who line-up for the auditions at my office.
As you are considered as one of the leading casting directors of Indian television industry, what kind of challenges do you face while casting various actors for a new show, or casting actors for different characters in an ongoing show?
While selecting a proper cast for any new television show, a casting director like me has to face a series of challenges. It begins by identifying the actors for various roles, adjusting their availability for the entire shoot schedule, and thereafter seek necessary approvals from creative teams of production house and the television channel. In an ongoing show, a casting director is often asked to identify a suitable actor available for the shoot at a very short notice. I continue to maintain an updated database of experienced actors. It helps me a lot in the casting process.
As a casting director, what is more important for you between an actor’s good looks and talent?
According to me, talent of an actor is far more important than his or her looks. Although good looking actors are admired in the industry, it’s his/her ability to act in front of the camera makes the difference. As a casting director, I carefully watch the confidence of an actor in his/her audition tape
Where do see yourself in next 10 years? Do you aim to cast actors for Bollywood movies?
Yes. I aim to cast for Bollywood movies in the future. And, also I am passionate about casting Indian actors in movies shot for screening at international film festivals. And, my aim is to become a film maker!
Many young British Asians living in the UK wish to join Bollywood and Indian television industry as actors. What is your advice to these NRI (non resident Indian) youngsters?
I advice British Asians and NRI youngsters to polish their Hindi speaking skills, watch Hindi television shows and movies, study in-depth the performances of Indian actors and learn to act with confidence. After all acting is all about conviction!