When I came to Mumbai, I knew that I am an actor but I am not a working actor. To keep this actor alive, I had to feed him, I took up the casting job so that I can run my house.
Casting director was a part-time thing, which later became a full-time job because there was a lack of casting directors in our industry and people were looking for professionals to do it.
I love both acting and casting, and the idea will be to pursue both.
For me, it was always that one extra job that you do to survive in the industry. I also realised that I was not well-sculpted as an actor because I was getting a lot of rejections. I stopped acting and focused on casting.
When I came to Mumbai to act and it didn't work out for me for few years, I thought I will go back to training but casting room has been a great training space for me.
No, I don't think it is required for casting directors to be actors too. My mentor Gautam Kishanchandani cannot act to save his life!
Then there is Abhimanyu Ray, Honey Trehan, Nandini Srikanth, Shanoo Sharma, we have so many great casting directors who have nothing to do with acting. You just need to have a great eye to understand the character.
I think casting is everything. You get a great cast and - certainly, as happens in 'The Hour' - so many of those performances on the page were transformed by those actors who took those parts and made it into something completely different.
It is not like casting me in your movie is going to help you get financing.
I think that what 'Oz' did is it spawned a great generation of television production. But people know its place in television and just in great dramas. It's the foundation of my career. Most producers, show runners, directors, and casting directors put me in movies based on my performance in that show.