Mukesh Chhabra is a brand in himself when it comes to casting in the Hindi film industry. Every other project that comes today has his name associated with it. Last December alone, Mukesh had about half a dozen projects that he cast across films and web series, including Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, Aranyak and ’83. Two years ago, amidst the pandemic, he even made his directorial debut with the late Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi-starrer Dil Bechara, and that film will forever be special to me, as I am sure it would be to many others.
While Dil Bechara launched the career of Sanjana as a leading actress and Mukesh’s as a director, it also came as a bittersweet achievement as it also marked the last project of Sushant and released posthumously. However, it seemed like a perfect goodbye for the actor as he put his heart and soul into it, and it received a lot of love from people across the world. So, I wonder what has taken so long for Mukesh to announce his next directorial, and he opens up to me about it.
“I am already in middle of something. But honestly, I am in no hurry or any kind of a race to prove that I can direct. The day a story finds me, I will make that film. Then there is the pandemic, and so much casting work happening right now. So, I will make a film eventually but there is no need to rush as I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I am sure there are producers and actors who will take me seriously and will definitely make my second film. I have undertaken so much casting work, so I don’t want to leave it midway. I will do it when my heart says I have to do it.”
But being a casting director for a long time, Mukesh must have seen a lot of actors and superstars of today from their initial phase, even from their first auditions. So, who is on his wish list of actors that he wants to direct from behind the camera?
“There are so many actors I want to work with including Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Kriti Sanon and Kartik Aaryan, while Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pankaj Tripathi are a part of my life already. But if you ask me now, I really want to work with Kriti Sanon.”
With Dil Bechara, Mukesh proved that with so much experience of casting behind him, he knows how to handle a project and deliver a masterpiece, so I am really excited to see him get back to the director’s chair. I just hope the right story finds him fast so that I get to witness the magic happen on my screen soon.