Though Sidharth Malhotra is only 6 films old he has forged his own place inBollywood. His latest release Baar Baar Dekho has underperformed at theboxoffice. But Siddharth is in no way discouraged or daunted in this interview with Subhash K Jha
After six films how much of an insider do you feel like in Bollywood ?
Well, I’m more comfortable now than I was earlier. But I’ve always felt welcome in this film industry. So when you as if I feel like an insider I first need to know what an outsider in this industry feels like. I’ve never been surrounded by too many people. So in that sense,I’ve not really sought a wide acceptance. But whoever I’ve met and worked with they’ve been very warm. Otherwise I am consumed by own self.
You mean you enjoy your own company?
Maybe. But I never feel like an outsider with the people I work with.We are all thorough professionals and we are all insiders when working together. But we don’t share that kind of bonding which I keep hearing about from Karan Johar in the earlier days when the whole film industry bonded. Woh culture hi badal gaya.
You’ve made very unusual choices as an actor so far.Is there a sense of disappointment when your choice fails you?
I never question my choices .I only question certain methods and processes in the movie making business. I think after failure I’ve come out more experienced and slightly wiser.
You’ve a huge fan following among women. Is that a strategy to bring the entire family into the theatre?
Ha, no strategy. I am just doing the films which have a story to tell that I believe in.I grew up watching only the big stories on screen. In our home in Delhi we were not regular movie goers. We were in no way connected to the movie industry.Our connection to the industry was the Bollywood blockbusters. I saw my mother watching the film of Mr Yash Chopra and Mr Amitabh Bachchan.And I gew up on the Shah RukhKhan era.
Now you are hobnobbing with them?
Yes, now I am part of that dream world. I’ve so much to be grateful and happy about.So even if I feel a film not working for me is a setback I look back with a sense of wonder.And then I am okay.I grew up in South Delhi, never thought I’d part of the film industry.
When did you decide you want to be an actor?
Initially when I came to Mumbai I tried my luck as an actor. I met Mr Anubhav Sinha. He was going to make a film in collaboration with Adlabs. But that didn’t work out.MrSinha got busy with Ra.One.After that I questioned my decision to be an actor. My parents in Delhi wondered what I was doing with my life. Yahan lakhon log aate hainactor ban-ne ke liye . So I started assisting Karan Johar on My Life Is Khan. Everyone like Abhishek Burman , Puneet Malhotra etc assisting at Dharma wanted to be directors.At that time I never thought Karan would launch me as an actor.Life has a funny way of working out for you.
How did you react when you after Student Of The Year people compared you with the early Mr Bachchan?
I still don’t know how to react to that.It’s taken Mr Bachchan years and years to get where he is.Such talk got even more intense when I did Ek Villain.Maybe because I was playing someone older than I am and very troubled by life.
Whether it is Katrina, Aishwarya or you or any good looking actor , people have a problem taking their talent seriously?
(laughs) I’ve been lucky.I’ve been praised for my work. Yes, for Baar Baar Dekho there were uncharitable remarks. I guess that happens when a film doesn’t work. We as a people thrive on negativity .