“A good actor should be a good listener and a keen observer” – says casting director Jyotika Badyal

Name – Jyotika Badyal

Profession – Casting Director

Industry – Pollywood

Upcoming Projects – Nankana, Sajjan Singh Rangroot, Punj Khaab

Recent Work – , Rocky Mental, Mahi NRI, Tiger and many more…

In an industry where Casting as a department is not given much importance, there’s a girl who has made her presence felt. Jyotika Badyal, one of the leading casting directors of Pollywood comes across as a super confident, intelligent and a hardcore professional. She knows the trade of casting for films in and out and her work speaks highly for itself.

As an independent casting director, Jyotika’s work is never ending. She had to reschedule this EXCLUSIVE interview with SaadaPollywood.com twice as she had been casting for Gurdas Maan’s next Punjabi film titled NANKANA. During our two hour long immensely interesting chat, Jyotika revealed that she had done casting for films like Rocky Mental, Mahi NRI, Bhujang, Tiger, Aatishbaazi Ishq, Yaaran Da Katchup, Kaptaan  and many more. Her upcoming projects include Gurdas Maan’s Nankana, Diljit Dosanjh’s Sajjan Singh Rangroot and Monica Gill’s Punj Khaab. She has introduced a number of talented actors to Pollywood.

Jyotika also has some advice for young actors, whether trained or not, about the requirements to audition for a movie and what helps you in becoming the next top actor in Pollywood.

Read this interview to know more about casting opportunities in Pollywood from the supremely talented Jyotika Badyal.

Jyotika – The Casting Expert

SaadaPollywood.com – Who or What attracted you to film industry?

Jyotika – I am totally filmy. So it was films that attracted me to this industry. I loved to watch cinema and thus I studied a course in Film Appreciation from Film and Television Institute of India. So my passion and love for cinema was the driving force that prompted me to enter into this industry.

SaadaPollywood.com – What specifically drew you to casting and why not any other part of the industry?

Jyotika – Casting just happened to me. It was not intentional. I always knew that I had to be a part of film industry but did not know which segment. I love writing poems and short stories but when someone pointed out to me that I have an eye for casting, that is when I started taking it seriously as a profession.

SaadaPollywood.com – Do you remember the first girl or boy you selected?

Jyotika – Oh yes! My first film as a casting director was Bhujang. I finalized Sidhant Gupta who played the antagonists role in the movie.

SaadaPollywood.com – Are your eyes always roaming around the place looking for the next actor?

Jyotika – Definitely! Sometimes we need actors who should match a particular look in the film. So when I spot someone who matches that look, I walk upto to him/her and ask if he/she has an interest in working in films and would like to audition for me! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t..but I take my chances.

SaadaPollywood.com – What is your thought process while auditioning?

Jyotika – I stick to the brief that I get from the director. I give highest priority to the look that the character demands. For me it’s important to know the background of the character. So I insist on getting a proper script narration so that I can give my best while Casting.

SaadaPollywood.com – What according to you is the biggest misconception about acting?

Jyotika – Fact is that all of us are always acting. But when you are made to act in front of the camera, there’s a lot of difference. People think that if you are good looking, then you can become an actor. But for me, acting is when your looks, mannerisms and behavior match the character you are auditioning for !

SaadaPollywood.com  – What is your definition of a great actor?

Jyotika – Most important for an actor is to be a good listener, observer and how one understands the character’s needs. He/she should listen and understand the brief. Great actors generally bring their unique innovativeness into that character.

Jyotika and Pollywood

SaadaPollywood.com – Do you think ‘Casting Director’ as a role is taken seriously by filmmakers in Pollywood?

Jyotika – In recent times the filmmakers have started taking casting seriously. It’s important that actors look their part in the film and not themselves! And this requires proper Casting which means to find fresh faces and see the existing actors in different light and not to typecast them. This requires a lot of work and time on casting director’s part! Some filmmaker’s have understood this and they take their casting directors on board from day one!

SaadaPollywood.com – Your take on Punjabi film industry’s norm that if you’re a good singer, by default you’re a good actor.

Jyotika – Music videos have a mass appeal. So when a popular singer makes an acting debut, the film gets an automatic push as people recognize the main lead. Having said that, many singers have tried their hands at acting but only those survived who worked on their acting skills.

SaadaPollywood.com – If I am an aspiring actor, what is the best way to find out which movie’s auditions are taking place and where?

Jyotika – Generally casting directors and filmmakers put the audition updates on their social media pages. The candidate searches are done more on a personal level rather than a mass outreach to people.

The Casting Ouch

SaadaPollywood.com – In your opinion, what makes a good audition?

Jyotika – For me a successful audition is when I find 80% qualities in a candidate who has auditioned for a particular role. That’s done when the actor sticks to the brief and yet brings his own perspective to the character. If I am seeing a glimpse of my character in him/her, I consider it to be a good audition.

SaadaPollywood.com – Imagine a scenario where I think I gave a great audition where the chat was great, the reading went smoothly and I get positive vibes from you. And then I wait and wait and wait but you never call. What does that signify?

Jyotika – That signifies that you gave a good audition but did not seem appropriate for that particular character that I am auditioning for. That further signifies that I might contact you in future if I come across a brief that suits you.

SaadaPollywood.com – Imagine another scenario where I got nervous, fumbled my dialogues, and spill your favourite coffee. Is that the end of the road for me?

Jyotika – Definitely not! I would give you sufficient number of chances to prove yourself. But if I see that you are not being able to perform and showcase your talent, then it’s probably not your day and you are under prepared. So I would advise you to work on yourself and give it a try next time .

SaadaPollywood.com – If I do not have any drama school training, do I still hold a chance to act in a movie?

Jyotika – Yes, if you suit a particular character and are comfortable in front of the camera. And most importantly you do good in your audition, you definitely have a chance.

SaadaPollywood.com – What’s the worst thing an actor can do whilst trying to impress you in an audition?

Jyotika – The worst thing is to send selfies to me when I ask for candid shots! Or when you fail to give a good audition but are so persistent in convincing me that you will rock on film set .. auditions are just not for me.. I perform directly on set !! I just don’t get that.

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