'Bollywood movies are a hobby'

'Bollywood movies are a hobby'

Unlike actors who lose their nails — and their sleep — before the release of their films, Siddharth, the cool dude, isn’t worrying too much about the box office fate of Chashme Baddoor, which hit the big screen on Friday. Comparisons — odious but inevitable — with Sai Paranjpye’s 1981 classic, don’t faze him either.

“I have no worries because people will love what the team has tried to bring on screen,” he declares.

Explaining that the film directed by David Dhawan is “just a vague remake of the original”, he refuses to be drawn into predicting its success or failure, conceding that “expectations are huge”.

“The film was premiered in Dubai and the response was remarkable. People will enjoy it,” says the actor who will be seen in a Hindi film after a gap of three long years. His last film Striker was based on a true story about a carrom player from Mumbai’s
ghettos.

 So, what kept him away from Bollywood? “I never disappeared. I recently did Meera Nair’s Midnight’s Children. I was busy with Tamil and Telugu films,” he replies, adding firmly that for him South Indian films are a source of livelihood whereas Bollywood films are a hobby. “That’s why even after seven years of my foray into Bollywood with Rang De Basanti, I have done only three Hindi films.”

Don’t ever insinuate that he is not serious about Bollywood despite having a huge fan following in North India! “I have never taken Hindi films for granted. It’s just that my life is concentrated in the South. The kind of films I love to do are being made there,” comes the charming reply.

Why Chashme Baddoor? “I have known David Dhawan for a long time. I did it because he was the director. I always wanted to work with him and there aren’t many directors who can make a comedy film as well as he does. He has his own style when it comes to comedy.”

Was comedy a difficult task for him? “Not at all,” replies Siddharth. “People in the northern belt don’t know much about my work in South cinema. I have done comedy films there. Personally, for me comedy is as technical as a serious role.

For a serious dramatic role, you need a lot of preparation but for comedy you have to concentrate on the moment to keep your performance alive and sparkling. No prior preparation works,” says the actor who did not “dare” to watch the original for fear of ruining his performance by getting worked up.

The actor, who began his career as assistant director in Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal, now lets us into a big secret. “I would not be so relaxed if it was my South Indian film being released. I go through a lot a pressure in the South which I have never experienced in Bollywood,” he fesses up with a grin.

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