Ssumier Pasricha: It’s frustrating that casting directors feel I can only do comedy or play Pammi Aunty


Actor Ssumier S Pasricha’s recent Instagram post, which he says he wrote out of a “little frustration” managed to have caught the attention of many. He had written, “Looking for one casting director who has the ability to think out of the box, who is capable enough to convince that one director that Ssumier is a good actor not just Pammi Aunty…”

When we asked him to elaborate, the actor says, “There have been many times I was in talks with various casting directors for roles, they’d approach me. After some time, when I’d ask them about it, they’d say directors have said ‘Ssumier is too big for this role, this is a small one’. Sometimes they say ‘We can’t use him here. The image of Pammi Aunty (his character which is popular online) is very strong’. It’s frustrating.”

Ruing that the entertainment industry typecasts actors, the 40-year-old hopes for a change in the industry and casting director’s approach. 

“If you’re a villain, you’ll remain a villain, same with heroes and comedians. I think the casting directors need to know an actor is an actor. There are times when you want to do a good role and the perception is, ‘He’s Pammi Aunty, he’ll ask for a lot of money, he does only this character’. What do they want then, if they don’t want a known actor because they don’t want to waste them. Does that mean that the person you cast instead is a waste of time? You don’t respect them?” questions Pasricha.

Insisting that he’s friends with the casting directors and has nothing against them, the actor still wants them to broaden their horizon and not typecast an actor.

“Some of them tell me, ‘The director is a fan, but they’re saying you’ re big’. Yeh kya matlab hua? If I can do it convincingly or not should matter, what is the previous stupid reason. I saw on Kapil Sharma’s comedy show once, Neena Gupta ji had come as a guest, and she was talking with Archana Puran Singh ji, who said the same thing, ‘I want to try different things, but nobody lets me try’. If she is saying that, meri toh koi aukaat hi nahi hai. And all this happens even before I have been called for at least a reading,” ends says Pasricha.

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