Mumbai, Sep 23 (PTI) Actor Barun Sobti says the casting process in the film industry is often based on perception and not on an artiste's ability.
Sobti is known as the 'romantic hero' thanks to the popularity of his character of Arnav Singh Raizada in 2011 drama 'Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?' and his appearance in 2016 slice-of-life film 'Tu Hai Mera Sunday'.
But the actor has been working towards breaking the mould with his recent shows and movies.
'Halahal', directed by Randeep Jha, features him in the role of a colourful, corrupt Haryanvi police officer, a first for his career.
Sobti said it was writer-producer Zeishan Quadri who showed faith in him to play the part in the Eros Now film. Quadri is best known for co-writing the screenplay of 'Gangs of Wasseypur' films and starring in its second part as Definite.
'Quite surprisingly the industry's casting is based on perceptions and images, instead of talent and abilities. It's an extremely non-creative thing. So it was brave of him to cast me and convince everyone else that I was a good choice,' Sobti told PTI in an interview.
The 36-year-old actor said with 'Halahal', his intention was not to surprise people with his range but simply to follow his conviction.
'I always knew I can do the rustic-rural character well but the image doesn't endorse that because people have perceptions. I knew people are going to be surprised, though that was not my agenda. The idea is always to see if the script is good and if I can bring something to it.' Also featuring Sachin Khedekar, 'Halahal' tracks the journey of a father and a cop trying to find out the truth when a college girl is murdered.
In playing a flamboyant cop, Sobti finally found the opportunity to dive into a character that hadn't been presented to him before.
The actor said he had the belief he would come out with flying colours.
'I don't think anyone around me knew I had it because everyone knows me as this urban nice guy. But no one knows what I'm suppressing. The triumph is if you can suppress the bad guy within you and present the best version. It was good fun to be used in a productive way through the character,' he said.
In his career spanning more than a decade, since his debut in 2009 with the TV show 'Shraddha', Sobti has been low key about himself.
His Twitter feed only chronicles his work and is rarely about his personal life or an overdrive of daily updates.
Sobti said he is comfortable letting the artiste in him take the centre stage, not the image.
'Everyone who comes here wants to be an actor. If they come to become popular, they go out of their way to create a prejudice in the audience's mind that if one is popular then he must be really good. I doubt that the audience is fooled easily.
'My reason to become an actor might have been, initially, money or fame, but right now it's about understanding the psychology (of a character) and portraying that. I always try to figure out why people do what they do. It's an exciting process and the right way to be an actor.' Sobti said he is at a stage in his career where he has found a 'firm ground' that does not require him to be a part of the race of creating perceptions.
'If you create an image, the test comes when you've to perform. If you fail, then that image is useless. I was busy finding my strengths.
'I know my reality thanks to the people I have interacted with, I've learnt a lot from them. My evolution is credited to them,' he added. PTI JUR BK BK