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More than 30 dogs were auditioned for Shiv Shastri Balboa!

Director Ajayan Venugopalan reveals how he picked an important cast member for the film that stars Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta

More than 30 dogs were auditioned for Shiv Shastri Balboa!
Cast and director of Shiv Shastri Balboa

Last Updated: 07.32 PM, Feb 10, 2023


Shiv Shastri Balboa has an interesting star cast, with Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, Nargis Fakhri and Sharib Hashmi. Now, director Ajayan Venugopalan has revealed about another cast member - a cute puppy.

In a special chat with OTTplay, Ajayan shared, "Casting the puppy was actually quite an elaborate process, because we held auditions for it. It may sound crazy, but the team auditioned around 30 dogs before finalising on Casper 9the dog who was eventually cast). Casting the right dog was very important for me."

When asked about his criteria to cast the dog, he said, "There are many dogs in the USA who are camera friendly, and star in dog videos and ads. But I didn't need a dog for some cute moments in the film. The dog is an alter ego of a character. I will not reveal more, but that is why the casting was important."

Ajayan added, "I wanted the dog to understand my instructions, emote and be comfortable around my team and actors. Also, I was looking for expressive eyes that can convey the kind of emotion I wanted him/her to. Eventually, we selected a pug, because their face and eyes create magic. And pugs are quite entertaining by nature."

With Shiv Shastri Balboa, the director says he wanted to tell a story that is a complete family entertainer, and he believes that a dog creates a complete family. The film is written and directed by Ajayan Venugopalan, and produced by Kishore Varieth. It also stars Jugal Hansraj, Anil Joseph and Alison Corriere, and has released in theatres today.

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