Shekhar’Suman’s faith in his ‘yet to be discovered’ heroine, paid off-Ariana Ayam
Its’ not just marriages, if Bollywood is to be believed then ‘heaven’ even has its’ own casting agents, making casting calls for movies to be shot on Earth. How else would one explain the chosen few, who never stand in a single audition line, yet get ‘discovered’ purely by chance and launched in films, that go on to make them stars?
Interesting films often have equally filmy, behind the scene stories. Case in point the casting of, Ariana Ayam who stars opposite Adhyayan Suman in Shekhar Suman’s directorial venture ‘Heartless’. While hundreds of girls were auditioned for this role that requires a strong female protagonist, the one to bag it was a graphic designer from New York, who did not even know that the film’s casting was underway.
Shekhar Suman says that for the role they were looking for a fresh face who would still be able to hold her own against stalwarts like Deepti Naval and Om Puri, in a role that required as much performance as glamour.
A rather tall order for any actress, leave alone a newcomer. Though they had a few girls shortlisted who were competent enough, that feeling of having found ‘the’ girl was missing. In fact at one time the film’s director was even told that this so called feeling of having gotten the perfect match is a myth and he should just go ahead and start the film as such perfect castings only happen in ‘films’. Or in real life, Shekhar insisted, holding on to this feeling that the perfect girl was out there somewhere, he just hadn’t found her yet.
Shekhar’s faith in his ‘yet to be discovered’ heroine, paid off when he happened to see a short film that Ariana had acted in purely as a lark. This short film was made by Adhyayan and his friend for a college project and since the independent minded youngsters were shooting the film on a low budget everything from the cast to the crew were their friends. Ariana had done the film because her friends asked her to and that’s where it ended for her.
Except of course that was actually the beginning. The minute Shekhar saw the film he knew he had finally found his female lead.
Of course convincing her was another thing. From doing a short film for fun to making a whole new career choice was kind of a life changing deal for this young designer.
But once she had read the script and Adhyayan and Shekhar had explained her role to her she was excited and challenged enough by it to take a deep breath and say ‘ok lets do this’.
(a quote here from Ariana about the impact the story and her character had on her).
Having given it her go ahead, Ariana also made sure she gave it her all and not for a second has Shekhar regretted his decision of casting on instinct rather than the tried and tested route of multiple auditions.
She is a natural, reveals a source from the unit, looking at her performance its’ hard to believe that she was not born to act.
But then again, maybe she was and she was just waiting to be discovered.