“Casting is a specialised job,” says Girdhar Swami, a self made casting director who has worked his way to the top. Today he boasts of having cast for big directors and films including Madhur Bhandarkar, Bejoy Nambiar, Ram Gopal Varma and others. “I’m privileged & humbled to have cast for big directors and films,” says Girdhar.
Hailing from a humble background, Girdhar has his own story of struggle. “It is ever easy getting a foothold in an industry where you have no godfather. But I was determined and focused. I always had an eye for spotting talent right from an age, As a kid when I used to watch films, I used to imagine who could be the best cast as per my understanding. I used to often take references of Hollywood films and try to see who from Bollywood could be a better fit for characters as per its requirement. That helped me in my training as a casting director.”
His first big casting project came his way when he started working with Madhur Bhandarkar on multiple projects including the filmmaker’s last movie Indu Sarkar. One of the most challenging project was Calendar Girls. ” We had almost more than 1000 entries from models, actresses and others. I had to go through the entire lot to shortlist the first set of probables. Then I auditioned them to see who would be a best fit. We had five characters to work on and all five were starkly different in nature. So I had to see which actress suited which role the best. It was a really challenging tasks as we had a lot of good entries and narrowing down to the last five along with Madhur sir was difficult.”
Girdhar was also instrumental in the casting of acclaimed film Babumoshai Bandookbaaz where he cast the beautiful Shraddha Das and other actors. The movie was intially being made with Chitrangada Singh but after she walked out Bidita Bag was drafted in.
“Casting is a specialised job. We get specific instructions from directors and they depend on us in getting the right talent.. Director trust us that the actor we will be shortlisting would be the right fit. So we have to be very focused in finding the right actor for the role. It involves a lot of hardwork and research.”
Girdhar meanwhile is busy casting for some big projects. “You will hear the announcements soon, ” says Girdhar before signing off.