Bollywood has been criticised for years for actors needing Godfathers to give them a big launch pad. However, in the past few years, audiences have also seen many breakthrough talents coming to the forefront and they’ve been discovered from all over the country. With casting becoming a big profession for films, many talents are getting discovered. There are many who’re outsiders and there are many who weren’t getting great opportunities until that big solid casting break came their way.
Casting directors like Mukesh Chhabra, Abhishek Banerjee, Shanoo Sharma, Nandini Shrikent, Vicky Sidana, Atul Mongia, Seher Aly Latif, and many others have played a key role in discovering and nurturing these game-changing actors. They are some of the few who’ve not just got great character artists on board, but also managed to give the industry some actors who went on to get leading roles in various other projects.
Here’s taking a look at 9 top path-breaking actors who were discovered because of some brilliant casting coup:
Bhumi Pednekar garnered widespread acclaim for her portrayal in her Bollywood debut film, 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' opposite Ayushmann Khurrana. Shanoo Sharma was the one who discovered and viewed her as a storm that would shake the film industry with her flair. Casting her in 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' turned out to be a game-changer for many other actresses as the movie became a blockbuster. Till then actresses were required to maintain a certain body type, but with 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha', Pednekar proved that audiences just loved to see great performances. Pednekar's impeccable performance in the movie and the hard work she did to look like the character she was given made her way slowly make a mark in the film industry. She went on to give back-to-back hit films and smoothly started ruling the hearts of the audience. She has picked up some of the most unconventional roles and managed to give them a spin which audiences have loved to the core. Films like 'Toilet Ek Prem Katha', 'Shubh Mangal Saavdhan', 'Pati Patni Aur Woh', 'Bala' etc have all been massively successful. She will soon be seen in the upcoming movie 'Raksha Bandhan' opposite Akshay Kumar.
Sushant Singh Rajput
The ultimate discovery of talent, Sushant Singh Rajput was a versatile actor waiting for that big break. Mukesh Chhabra saw the immense potential in this industry outsider who later went on to star in films like ‘Kai Po Che’, ‘PK’, ‘Raabta’, ‘Kedarnath’, ‘Chhichhore’ and in Mukesh Chhabra’s very own directorial debut ‘Dil Bechara’.
With ‘Masaan’, a star was born as Vicky Kaushal, who came out of nowhere and took the film industry by storm. The National film award-winning actor then went on to star in some impactful films like ‘Uri’, ‘Masaan’, ‘Manmarziyaan’, ‘Raazi’, ‘Sanju’ and ‘Sardar Udham’ all of which were critically acclaimed.
The ‘Scam 1992’ sensation was discovered by Mukesh Chhabra who thought no one could play the role better than him. Gandhi soon went on to become one of the most talked-about discoveries both on home turf and overseas with the author-backed roles that filmmakers have been casting him in.
Fatima Sana Shaikh And Sanya Malhotra
The girls in ‘Dangal’ were a revelation and found a dream launch pad with Dangal. Even though Fatima Sana Shaikh had done a few movies before, but her career didn’t take off until she was discovered in ‘Dangal’. Taking into account the auditions and fitness requirements that the roles demanded, the two actresses were finally zeroed in for two of the toughest roles that any actress has ever attempted in Bollywood.
He made his entry into Bollywood with Zoya Akhtar’s 'Gully Boy' as MC Sher, a role that was cast by Nandini Shrikent. Chaturvedi had done a few web series' by then and but with 'Gully Boy' he became an overnight sensation. Chaturvedi became a national crush instantly and with his roaring performance, he won million hearts in no time. Since then there has been no looking back for Chaturvedi. From being just another name in the extended cast of 'Inside Edge' to becoming the lead in some of the biggest movies from YRF and Excel Entertainment, Chaturvedi has come a long way. He went on to be featured in numerous movies including 'Gehraiyaan' and 'Bunty Aur Bubli 2'.
Kukoo from ‘Sacred Games’ was a game-changing role for Kubbra Sait and one that distinctly stood out and changed the course of her career. She had also done a few roles before but it was only after playing Kukoo that she became a household name and her career started booming from then on.
Coming from a television background no one could have imagined Mrunal Thakur as the Kathak dancer in ‘Super 30’. Hardly anyone would have been able to envision her in that role considering her previous characters on television. But one thing led to another and with encouraging reviews on each of her subsequent roles, Thakur has managed to work with some of the biggest names in the film industry to date.