Meet the man and it makes a moment. An absolute doyen and charismatically dynamic, Mukesh Chhabra is synonymous with success. Hardworking and a man of detail, Mr Chhabra has shaped the career contours of many artists in the Indian performing arts space.

He needs no introduction and there is always a beeline of aspirants seeking his guidance to make it big in Bollywood. However, neither he reveres nor disrespects anyone. Focussed on the craft of putting the casting dots together to create a mesmerising kaleidoscope of cinematic experience, Mukesh is a man of integrity, humble and humane to the core.

Now, if you are a casting director in the film industry, your job is more crucial to the logistics of making a motion picture than any other. The technical departments still have room to falter, hide or get away with things but the faces you choose to be on the camera, performing scenes and being the medium through which a story is translated to the millions – if those faces are sub-par or somehow can’t do the job well – the entire chain suffers.

One cannot expect an average Joe, who watches films devoid of the technical names attached to the project, to know about who is doing the job behind the camera – but that is where casting director maestro Mukesh Chhabra comes in. To give you some layman’s context, you might not know anything about football but you have heard about Manchester United Football Club, you might have nothing to do with films or the entertainment industry but you know how Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are – on similar lines if you have seen films and are buff, you would know who Mukesh Chhabra is.

Making His Mark Since Day One

Chhabra Ka Dabra: Mukesh's Midas Touch 898767

To say that Chabbra has indeed a Midas touch and a keen eye for spotting talent would be answering in brief to a question that is 20 marks worth. His casting company, Mukesh Chhabra CSA has been rolling out talents for the past 15+ years and one that has only attained more and more prominence over the years. For someone with the repertoire that he has, Chhabra has been nonchalant about his impact consistently but has delivered. You can have a separate piece altogether enlisting the number of now-prominent biggies who were the finds of Chhabra’s eye but we won’t get into that.

Rising Over The Years

As mentioned fleetingly earlier, to have a casting director become an industry name is a case of rarity and one that has seldom happened over the years. But owing to his public appearances, sharing anecdotes and giving insight into the process of casting and how it works – Chhabra has established a place for himself that is unparalleled. Having also turned director with Dil Bechara (2020), we still await Chhabra’s next directorial but it might happen soon. His contribution to the industry has gained special notice over the years owing to the boom and exposure of social media which leads to people behind the scenes coming forward and offering their take on some of the most fascinating stories and intriguing tales.

Having That Eye

Some things cannot be explained in words – this is a sentence that not just a casting director but a filmmaker, a cinematographer and even a producer believe in wholeheartedly. You cannot train yourself to have an eye for spotting talent – especially when you are dealing with thousands of new faces, who come to audition daily. But you just do, you just need to have that eye to spot talent that suits the project and Chhabra has that in ways one cannot anticipate. How else would have the likes of Rajkummar Rao, Pratik Gandhi, Sanya Malhotra, Mrunal Thakur and countless other talents at display today! You cannot learn it but it might come to you over the years with experience and intricate understanding of making a motion picture.

Looking Ahead

Chhabra Ka Dabra: Mukesh's Midas Touch 898768

Riding high on the accolades that the likes of Amar Singh Chamkila, Lootere, and Scam 2003: The Telgi Story have received, Chhabra continues his quest to recognize and nurture talent consistently. Actors becoming stars has been a known phenomenon but with the rise of the web and the reach that it enables, Chhabra’s work to observe and detect the right actor for the right project has not only become pivotal but the need of the hour – which he continues to be going rolling with.