Mukesh Chhabra, who has now worked as a casting director in the Hindi film industry for over two decades, recently recalled an interesting anecdote from his career in which he was mistaken for a child thief. He revealed that the incident happened while he was looking for child actors to cast in the 2011 comedy film Chillar Party. Read also| Anurag Kashyap Wasn’t Sure About Casting Pankaj Tripathi In Gangs Of Wasseypur, Wanted Another Actor
Chillar Party, directed by Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl and produced by Ronnie Screwvala under UTV Motion Pictures and Salman Khan among his Salman Khan Films, had several kid artists debuting with the film. The film, which won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film in 2011, starred Irfan Khan in one of the lead roles as Fatka.
Mukesh recalled casting Irfan in the film and told Mashable India: “The boy who plays Fatka in Chillar Party, I saw him at the red light of Lokhandwala. I loved this boy. Then I followed him to a slum in Oshiwara “I followed him home. His mother thought I was a child thief. I said, “No, a movie is being made about children. I’m casting.” She couldn’t believe me. I finally convinced her and called her to the office UTV set up for us. We gave him a workshop for three to four days before asking him to audition. He did. auditioned, got the part of Fatka and later won a National Award.”
In the conversation, Mukesh said that casting directors look for personality rather than acting skills when drawing a child artist. He revealed that Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s child actor Harshaali Malhotra was also cast in a similar fashion after seeing her in a shopping center in Gurgaon and asking his team to find her.
Mukesh Chhabra’s next film as casting director is Brahmastra, which stars Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy among others. He said he worked on the film for more than six years. Brahmastra is scheduled for a theatrical release on September 9.
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