Starting her career in Mumbai’s television industry as a casting director and now a well known name, Neha Maheshwari had no idea what destiny had in store for her. Being in the casting world for now for many years, she has achieved experience that is well respected and recognized by the producers of Indian television shows.
Today, Neha Maheshwari, pictured, is considered as Indian television industry’s most sought after and well known casting director. She is the silent face behind grand success of popular shows produced by Director’s Kut Productions – makers of ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. In an exclusive interaction with Mitaan Express, she shares her views on various facets of casting professions:
What made you think of becoming a casting director?
Although I started my career as an editor, somewhere deep inside me was an inclination towards the ‘casting’ aspect of our entertainment industry. During my free time, I used to carefully watch the audition tapes of various actors. I found the entire process of auditioning appealing. And, an editor turned into a casting director!
Isn’t it a very stressful job?
Indeed, casting process can be extremely stressful at times. However I enjoy it. To identify an appropriate cast for a particular show, the casting director should have an eye to identify suitable talent. At times, we work under severe pressure to finalize the cast after understanding the show’s genre, its plot and the characters in the story. Also, it’s very challenging and tough to deny roles of particular characters to unsuitable actors who line-up for auditions at Director’s Kut Productions – a highly reputed name in the Indian television industry.
As a casting director, what is more important for you between an actor’s good looks and talent?
As a casting director, talent and looks are equally important for me. Although good looking actors are admired in our entertainment 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.
Many youngsters wish to join Bollywood and Indian television industry as actors. What is your advice to them?
Never get disheartened. Keep trying, keep learning, keep improving your skills and success is yours. After all acting is all about conviction! Aspiring artists should always remember inspiring words of a great humorist and one of finest actors to ever walk this earth, Charlie Chaplin: “The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting”.