In 2011, when Parineeti Chopra acted in Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, many noted that she wasn’t a conventional debutante. Unlike other aspiring actors, she was working as a marketing and PR executive with Aditya Chopra’s company, before he offered her a chance to act.
The same banner also made Dum Laga Ke Haisha this year, and cast Bhumi Pednekar — who had worked with them as an assistant casting director for six years — as the female lead. Even film-maker Karan Johar, who has done a few guest appearances in movies, recently made a full-fledged acting debut with Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet.
Interestingly, in the next few months, several professionals from different walks of life will make a career switch and turn actors. Music director Shekhar Ravjiani will act in Ram Madhvani’s Neerja. He plays the lover to the female protagonist (played by Sonam Kapoor). Designer and stylist Pernia Qureshi is also preparing for her Bollywood debut in Muzaffar Ali’s Raqs — The Dance Within.
Film-maker Kunal Kohli, who will play the lead role in his own directorial, Phir Se, feels, “There’s nothing wrong with it. Talents from all spheres should be welcomed. And anyway, we need more actors in the industry. If Hollywood can have 20 top stars, why do we have only five or six? The more the merrier,” he says.
For Bhumi, the switch to acting has been a life-changing experience. “It’s something that I wanted to do, but I didn’t know if it would ever happen,” she told HT Café.
Karan, too, feels that the novelty factor attracted him to the role. “I’m comfortable being myself in front of the camera, but this film was something new for me. It gave me a chance to play a negative role, and that’s why I took it up,” he says.
From the trade perspective, too, unusual casting gets a thumbs-up as it increases curiosity among viewers. “Plus, as film-makers attempt different cinema, their endeavour isn’t just limited to unique storylines, but also to newer casting that give a completely new perspective to things,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta.
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