I don't consider TikTok faces as actors, says casting director Adityoa Suranna
TV's leading casting director Adityoa Suranna deconstructs the process of zeroing in on talented artistes from a sea of aspiring actors.
When actors anxiously rehearse their lines for the first shot and the director gears up to film the opening sequence, Adityoa Suranna heaves a sigh of relief, knowing that the efforts of the past fortnight have borne fruit. Before a show goes on the floor, Suranna — a prominent casting director in the television industry — dedicates anywhere between a fortnight and a month to zero in on appropriate actors.
Having recently put together the cast of Beyhadh 2 and Shubhaarambh, Suranna says the challenge is to find talented artistes within the stipulated time. "Some production houses maintain a deadline as per their telecast schedule. For instance, ALTBalaji [casting for Baarish] is particular about who they want and don't mind waiting. [In contrast] we were given only 16 days to cast 158 characters for Chhabbis Gyarah [based on 26/11 shootings] that is set to come on Zee5. When I was casting for Criminal Justice, Applause Entertainment gave me ample time." He is quick to add that when an actor backs out at the last minute, he needs to find a replacement overnight.
Explaining the process further, Suranna — who has previously dabbled in direction — says that a minimum of two auditions is a must for every actor. "That said, when we are casting known faces like Sharad Kelkar or Iqbal Khan, they don't have to audition. We conduct a look test to make sure they fit [the part]." With the growing popularity of apps like TikTok, has it become easier to find fresh talent? "I have auditioned close to 30 people from TikTok, of which barely two can act. I don't consider TikTok faces as actors. But social media definitely helps get the word out."
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