Creating a show is a complete team effort – Vinamrata Bhojwani, Casting Director
Youngster Vinamrata Bhojwani, at the age of 23, is a confident girl with clear thoughts and vision. Her passion towards the work on hand has brought her success, and from a mere trainee at the DJ’s – A Creative Unit team, she has now grown to fit the designation of the Casting Director.
How did you start your career? Has casting always been your priority when it came to deciding on your career?
I was a very bright student, good at curricular activities like debates, elocution, dramatics etc. Hence my teachers always encouraged me to pursue a career related to media. I was always interested in the media field and that is why I did my Graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication.
After completing my Graduation, I shifted to Mumbai and joined DJs – A Creative Unit as a trainee and eventually went on to become an Asst. Casting Director and then finally the Casting Director. I never knew that I would make my career in casting; I never imagined that I would become a Casting Director at the age of 23 of a reputed production house like DJs.
As an asst. Casting Director, I have casted for shows like Meri Bhabhi, Ek Mutthi Asmaan , Hamari Sister Didi, Hum Hain Na, a pilot for Sony.
As a Casting Director I have done casting for shows like Police Factory, Kaala Teeka, Sumit Sambhal Lega and Parvarrish 2.
You are one of the few female casting seniors in the industry. Do you feel casting is a good line for the fairer sex to adopt?
Yes why not, it is more or less like an office Job. It is quite exciting to meet different kinds of actors of different genres, and how you can help them enhance their performance and guide them to perform as per the requirement of the character. I think it can be a fairly good line for girls who want to join media field.
I personally think that in colleges, media students should be made aware about such fields like Casting, Creative, Art etc. Media students should know that the media field is not only about Journalists, news anchors, editors and directors, but a lot more than that.
What has been your biggest high? And of course, your saddest low?
Although minor ups and downs are always there in life, by God’s grace and blessings I have always been able to overcome them and my experience in this industry has been smooth so far.
My biggest high has been casting for Police Factory which was my first project as a Casting Director, for which I casted from the scratch and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
There hasn’t been any saddest low as such, but one thing which makes me a little dejected sometimes is the fact that I am away from my home and my family who are in Jaipur. But my mom always encourages me. She says that in order to achieve something good in life we have to make little sacrifices.
You have been working with DJ’s for quite some time. How is your rapport with producers there?
My rapport with them is pretty good. Both Deeya Ma’am and Tony Sir are great to work with. Since I started my career with their production house they are more like mentors for me and I have learnt a lot from them.
What genres do you like casting for the most?
I have been involved in casting of shows which have been of different genres right from drama to youth based to sitcom and I have enjoyed casting for all of them. I really enjoyed casting for Police Factory which is a light hearted youth based show. Sasting for Sumit Sambhal Lega which is a sitcom was great, and even Kaala Teeka which again is completely of a different genre. Now I am enjoying casting for Parvarrish 2 as well.
You have cast for a show like Sumit Sambhal Lega, as well as Kaala Teeka which are contrasts. How do you tackle every show differently when it comes to casting?
In my opinion there are few basic things which apply when you are casting for any show, irrespective of the genre.
Firstly, it is to cast a good character and second is to cast an actor who fits the character to the tee. So, for both the shows our focus was to get brilliant actors who fit the respective characters.
For Sumit Sambhal Lega, our main focus was on casting actors who have superb comic timing, and we picked actors from theatre as well.
For Kaala Teeka, extra efforts were put to get the two main girls who besides being good actors had to be of the same age group and could complement each other, which was mandatory for the show to work.
Do you think casting people get their due credit in the TV industry?
I think a lot more credit should be given to casting people than what is being given because casting people are the ones who cast an entire show and for me, besides good content the casting has to work/click for a show’s success.
Creating a show is a team effort, so definitely if credit is given to one team member in the credit list, then credit must also be given to the other team member as well who has equally contributed, worked hard and has done his part in creating the show.
What is your personal goal for the future?
I have never really planned ahead in life; I like to take things step by step. I just want to give my best in whatever I do. It is very important for me to do the work which is of my interest and which I enjoy doing and right now I am enjoying casting for my shows. Let’s see what future has in store for me, I really don’t put in a lot of thought into all this. . One thing is for sure that even in future I will pursue that work which will be of my interest and which I will feel passionate about, be it casting or something else. Also I would love to explore foreign countries.
What kind of a person are you? What is the attribute that you have which helps you a lot in projecting yourself?
I am a simple girl, daydreamer, professional, punctual, someone who tries to be good to others, and will never intentionally hurt anyone. I am sincere, hard working and like to put in my best efforts in whatever I do. I am confident, polite and I am very clear about my style and execution of my work.
Do you idolize anyone in the industry?
I do try to imbibe different qualities and traits which I like in different people, but as such I don’t idolize anyone.
Your Producer Deeya Singh is herself a lady. Do you get motivational on seeing her? What have you learnt from her?
Yes definitely. She is very prompt and likes to complete work way before time; she never leaves anything for the last minute which I find really admirable. Also one can really approach her and put across their problems and point of views, and she is always ready to pay heed to. She has been in this industry since 1993 and has been producing great shows which are always unique and have something fresh and different to offer to the viewers, be it Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi or Maryada or Left Right Left or Sumit Sambhal Lega and many more which in itself is an inspiration and is very motivational for me. In short, I would love to be successful like her in future.
Who do you owe your success to in the industry?
Whatever little I have achieved so far is because of the support of my seniors who taught me a lot and recognized that I was capable of handling things on my own and for having faith in me , my parents especially my mom, blessings of God and yes of course even I have really worked hard for it.
Is it always easier to convince the experienced actors when compared to the newcomers? Who do you prefer casting – experienced face or launching a new star?
It can be a little tricky to convince a few senior actors, as sometimes they are very particular and want even minute details of the character and the story which is fair enough. So, I make sure that I have entire knowledge of the role, about the show before I approach them so that I can easily solve all their queries.
On one hand where it is amazing to launch a fresh face, it is equally thrilling to re-launch a popular face of yesteryear.
What is exciting for me is always to cast a superb actor who fits the character to the tee, when my friends or my family call and tell me that they like this particular character in my show or when people start calling the actor by the name of the character he/she portrays. This is what is satisfying; it means I have done my job well.
Tell us about the process of hunting the two little girls in Kaala Teeka? They have been really impressive.
Casting for the two kids was a rigorous process which went on for months; we auditioned girls not only from Mumbai but also from other cities. We had to cast the girls who were not only brilliant actors but were of same age, were compatible and complemented each other on screen. And finally Sargam was finalized to play Kaali and Adaa was finalized for Gauri. Both are friends in real life as well which clearly reflects on screen as well which is great. Both of them are talented young actors who are quite natural and I am sure they will win hearts of many viewers with their performance.
You have brought Daljieet back into action. Did you consider her as she has gone through a crisis in personal life or is it because she suited the character?
Not at all, Daljieet bagged the role because she is a superb actor and is perfect for Manjri’s character. Of course I am really happy that Daljieet got the role; but the fact is that she bagged the role because she deserved it. I am sure if not Kala Teeka then Daljieet would have definitely bagged some or the other good project because she is a superb actor and talented enough to bag a show on her own merit.