Coordinator, freelance casting manager, artist manager and entrepreneur Rupesh Sonar has done it all! In a candid chat, he talks about how he got into casting and everything around it.
1. When did you put your foot into casting and how?
It has been 17 years since I have been doing casting. I entered the field through the ad world. I did ads for around 2-3 years and then I started with TV. I did my first show Rishton Ki Dor on Sony where I had brought Sampada Vaze and there were many other castings done.
2. What is your background? From where do you belong?
I am born and brought in Mumbai and I have done M.com. My father was a junior artist and I used to go with him on the set and there I used to see that the life of a junior artist is very difficult. I knew that I wanted like to do something for them. I would coordinate them and do their casting.
3. Were you interested in casting since the beginning?
Yes, I was interested in casting as I used to go on the sets with my father since the time I was 10 years old. I used to go in my holidays and used to see and meet everyone and since then my this profession excited me.
4. How did you get your first break?
I got my first break for ads in 2003-2004 and at that time, the ads which were made were the real ads with real people.
5. For whom did you do the first casting?
I had a very few actresses and Disha Vakani, who is popularly known as Daya, was among them. We have done many episodes together. My first episodic show was Hatim where Rahil Azam was the hero. That time I did not know much and I used to go along with my actors also.
6. What are the requirements and the abilities that one should have if he/she steps into casting?
You should have a good presence of mind and should also have a good knowledge of characterization.
7. The competition has risen in this field. Comment
Yes, the competition has increased but that does not bother me as I do my work honestly.
8. Earlier you used to do coordination but now you have become a business manager. So how did you make the decision
I have taken this decision because today the social network has expanded along with media and actors require someone to coordinate with them. Today I do coordination, casting, and management but there are some actors who are new and some who are with me for years and they want that I do their work for TV too. That’s why I have started managing them as well.
9. Name some actors whom you are managing right now.
Presently I am manging Namish Taneja, Sahil Malotra, Sanjay Gagnani, Poonam Preet and many more like
Sambhavna monte– Raja Beta
Avinash mishra – Ye Teri Galliya
Naina Singh– Kumkum Bhagya
Mohsin khan– Nisha aur uske cousins
Navina Bole– Ishqbaaz
Ansh bagri– Dil toh happy hai ji
Rehaan chaddha– YHM
Abhishekh Malik– YHM
Mansi Srivastav– Ishqbaaz
Harsh rajput– nazar
Debina and Gurmeet Chaudhary for Ramayan
10. What are your career goals?
I would like to do manage actors and do artist casting and appearances.
11. What is the secret of your success?
You should always work hard with honesty and should always be transparent. We should always keep things clear with the actors and producers.
12. How do you unwind yourself ?
I go to the coffee shop and sit there for 1-2 hours and meet my friends. I also meet the actors who I manage.
13. It is said that the casting agents can find the actors in a coffee shop as well as on Facebook, so where do you think that the new talent is spotted?
When I had stepped into casting, we used to source out the actors from CCD, colleges and even from the roads. There are many actors whom we have chosen from the roads and one such actor is Vishal Gandhi. One day I was just passing by and he was standing near Veera Desai and I asked if he would like to do acting as he had just finished his acting workshop and came out. He agreed and did his first main lead show. Other such actors are Abhishek Tiwari. Rajan Shahi was looking for an actor for the show Chand Chupa Badal Mein and he got cast. Dheeraj Dhoopar, who is from Delhi had come to Mumbai and met me. He gave 1-2 auditions and I cast him for Rajan sir’s show.
14. Would you like to go to casting for films?
I believe that a person should have a Ph.D. for one thing and since I am working for TV and have good knowledge about it, I would like to continue that.