“She was one of the most gentle, rare, loving people, who was also great at her job,” actor Nimrat Kaur recalled casting director Seher Aly Latif, who passed away on Monday in Mumbai. “Seher would advocate for rare talent and was so ahead of her time. What she did with casting 10 years ago is what people do now,” says Kaur of Latif, who had chosen the latter for the role of Ila Sehgal in The Lunchbox (2013). Latif was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai about a week ago after suffering a cardiac arrest and died Monday from the effects of kidney failure.
In addition to The Lunchbox, she has movies from 2020 Shakuntala Devi and Maska, among others. In addition to scouting talent for the Hindi film industry, she had also worked on several international projects. International show McMafia (2018) credits Latif for “Indian Casting” for five of its episodes. Her other notable projects include Sense 8 (2017, 20 episodes), Fast and the Furious (2017), and Zero Dark Thirty (2012).
“I knew her from my modeling days and we were both from the same city. She was from Noida, where my parents are also staying. We were confidants and friends. For The Lunchbox, she had the director of the film (Ritesh Batra) come and see some of my plays. She was the voice in his ear when he was looking for a fresh face for the film. Seher played an important role in making that possible for me. In that way, I owe much of my working life to her,” adds Nimrat Kaur. We were quite excited to be neighbors. She is gone too young and too early.”
Recently, Seher Aly Latif had also become a producer on Manisha Koirala starrer Maska, which was streamed on Netflix. The other project she led as producer was Bhaag Beanie Bhaag, a show starring actor Swara Bhasker and American actor of Indian descent Ravi Patel in the lead roles.
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who was cast by Latif for McMafia, took to Twitter to mourn her passing. “Really sad to hear of the passing of an outstanding Casting Director and a truly wonderful friend. It was always a pleasure to work with her. Rest in peace #seherlatif @smwhtlatelatif,” he wrote on the microblog site.