Satyajit Ray - Casting and Actors
Satyajit Ray worked with actors with no previous acting experience, professionals and even well-known stars. Casting played an important role in all his films. He wrote screenplays for ‘The Apu Trilogy’ films without any reference to the acting talent; as a result, newcomers played most of the parts. Many of his later screenplays were written for specific actors: Tulasi Chakravarti in Parash Pathar, Uttam Kumar in Nayak, Chhabi Biswas in Devi and Jalsaghar and Soumitra Chatterjee in many later films.
He never rehearsed the actors except on a finished set and kept the rehearsal to a minimum. He usually described the situation and gave brief instructions to the actors and allowed them to make their own interpretation. He felt that it was not important to discuss a part with an actor at length unless the actor so desired.
He wrote, “Sometimes, with a minimum of guidance, an actor provides me with exactly what I want. Sometimes I have to try and impose a precise manner, using the actor almost as a puppet. This is my inevitable method with children”. He believed, “Since it is the ultimate effect on the screen that matters, any method that helps to achieve the desired effect is valid”.