Zoya Akthar pulled off a casting coup of sorts when she announced her project earlier this year where she was launching three off-springs of established stars.
Suhana Khan, daughter of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, Khushi Kapoor, daughter of the legendary Sridevi and Agastya Nanda, grandson to veteran actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, were all going to be a part of her directorial, ‘The Archies’.
However, shortly after the initial news died down, cries of nepotism and favouring star-kids were soon grabbing headlines everywhere.
Now, months later, ‘The Archies’ casting director Nandini Shrikent has clarified that each actor in the film had auditioned for the project before h/she was signed on for the project.
“Any industry you look at, the next generation takes over. If someone fits the role, they deserve the opportunity because they fit the role. It’s not like we’ve just gone and cast someone because they’re a star kid,” Shrikent told The Quint.
The casting director continued: “Each one is very specifically, super-perfect for the role they’ve been cast in. It was a proper casting process. We tested many people for the roles. We didn’t just go over with these roles on a platter to the three star kids and say ‘Here they are!’ A lot of people tested for various roles and then this fell in place.”
Casting director Abhishek Banerjee further added: “Sometimes you might not know an actor or it’s possible that you can’t trust whether he’ll do a good job on set, whether he’ll understand the set, how to be around ADs, how to be around the crew. Versus a guy or girl who comes from a filmy background and you automatically know that they’re well versed. Even that star kid, they will also learn through the process. Once they are on the set, they will have to learn.”
‘The Archies’, which is a Netflix release in collaboration with Akhtar’s Tiger Baby Productions, is a re-telling of the beloved comics with Nanda reportedly playing Archie, while Khan and Kapoor’s Veronica and Betty, respectively, will complete the love triangle. ‘The Archies’ will also star Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Dot and Yuvraj Menda.
The team has already shot for the first schedule in Ooty. A release date has yet to be announced.