New but not raw - Bollywood newcomers come prepared

By Manpreet Kaur, IANS
Thursday, April 22, 2010

NEW DELHI - The mantra in Bollywood is no more about learning on the job, but coming prepared before the director calls “action”. Newcomers venturing into the industry believe they must have a sound understanding of their craft, even technically.

Raj Kumar Yadav, who played Adarsh in Dibakar Banerjee’s “Love Sex aur Dhoka”, said: “As competition is tough in the industry it gives a boost to an individual when you are technically sound and that is what filmmakers are looking for.”

“It is better to have ample knowledge before venturing into any stream. It is one of the greatest requirements of every industry. Personally, I have done theatre and a course from FTII (Film and Television Institute of India, Pune) which helped me face the camera. It made me feel comfortable as I had technical knowledge,” he said.

Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha, who debuted in “Sadiyaan” this month, did a course from FTII before venturing into movies. “I think it’s good to come prepared as it isn’t an easy industry to survive in,” Luv told IANS.

In 2010, more than a dozen youngsters debuted in Bollywood as actors and directors.

Shradha Kapoor, Siddharth Kher, Dhruv Ganesh and Vaibhav Talwar were seen for the first time in “Teen Patti”, Luv Sinha in “Sadiyaan”, Anubhav and Adarsh in “Love Sex Aur Dhokha”, Neeru Singh and Aruna Sheilds in “Prince 3″ and Maradona Robello in “Pankh”.

Director Shawn Arranha who debuted with horror-thriller “Hide and Seek” echoes similar sentiments. “It makes everyone comfortable when the actors have specific knowledge about the subject and moreover it saves a lot of time,” he said.

“Today filmmakers are looking at not raw actors but knowledgeable individuals who understand the concept in one go,” he added.

“Hide and Seek” was not just his directorial debut, it also saw new faces like Amruta Patki, Pavail Gulati, Mohit Dutta, Nutan Shinde and Shweta Verma. Southern actress Sada made her Bollywood debut with “Click”.

Other debutant directors this year include Mudassar Aziz (”Dulha Mil Gaya”); comedian Sunil Pal (”Bhavnao Ko Samjho”); Abhishek Chaubhey (”Ishqiya”), Amit Rai (”Road to Sangam”); Abhishek Chaubey (”Ishqiya”); Vijay Lalwani (”Karthik Calling Karthik”).

And the young brigade understands what is expected from them by the filmmakers.

Pavail Gulati, a former student of Whistling Woods, who made his debut with “Hide and Seek”, says Bollywood is looking at intelligent actors and has become much more structured.

“Nobody wants a dumb actor these days. It is not only that newcomers come prepared but it is also a requirement of the industry. The film industry has become much more structured and professional,” said Gulati.

Vaibhav Talwar, who recently made his debut alongside Amitabh Bachchan in “Teen Patti”, said: “The industry is looking for a complete package. One should be a good actor and performer.”

“It’s a cut-throat world and it is very difficult to make your mark. One needs to be prepared,” Talwar added.

And old-time filmmakers are certainly not complaining.

“I know acting is a talent within, but even if you are born talented you have to get an opportunity to perform as a professional. Unless you know the technique and mould your art you will not be welcomed by the production houses,” Subhash Ghai told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

“If an actor wants to have a long spanning career, he has to know the art and technique of acting,” he added.

Some of the debutants who hogged the limelight in 2009 include Mahi Gill and Kalki Koechlin in “Dev D”, Shruti Hassan in “Luck”, television actress Amna Sharif in “Aloo Chaat”, Arunoday Singh in “Sikander”, Jacqueline Fernandez in “Aladin” and Gautam Rode in “Agyaat”.

(Manpreet Kaur can be contacted at

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