Casting in industry is based on image, not talent: Barun Sobti

MUMBAI: Actor Barun Sobti says the casting process in the film industry is often based on perception and not on an artiste’s ability.

Sobti is known as the “romantic hero” thanks to the popularity of his character of Arnav Singh Raizada in 2011 drama “Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?” and his appearance in 2016 slice-of-life film “Tu Hai Mera Sunday”.

But the actor has been working towards breaking the mould with his recent shows and movies.

“Halahal”, directed by Randeep Jha, features him in the role of a colourful, corrupt Haryanvi police officer, a first for his career.

Sobti said it was writer-producer Zeishan Quadri who showed faith in him to play the part in the Eros Now film. Quadri is best known for co-writing the screenplay of “Gangs of Wasseypur” films and starring in its second part as Definite.

“Quite surprisingly the industry’s casting is based on perceptions and images, instead of talent and abilities. It’s an extremely non-creative thing. So it was brave of him to cast me and convince everyone else that I was a good choice,” Sobti told said in an interview.

The 36-year-old actor said with “Halahal”, his intention was not to surprise people with his range but simply to follow his conviction.

“I always knew I can do the rustic-rural character well but the image doesn’t endorse that because people have perceptions. I knew people are going to be surprised, though that was not my agenda. The idea is always to see if the script is good and if I can bring something to it.”

Also featuring Sachin Khedekar, “Halahal” tracks the journey of a father and a cop trying to find out the truth when a college girl is murdered.

In playing a flamboyant cop, Sobti finally found the opportunity to dive into a character that hadn’t been presented to him before. (AGENCIES)