New kid on the block

Bollywood

Sidharth Malhotra announced his arrival to Bollywood with Karan Johar’s Student of the Year. Since then, there has been no looking back for the actor. Sidharth, who has quite a few big releases up his sleeve, speaks to TWF on films, brand endorsements, fitness and more...

You seem to be in a great mood these days with all your films hitting the bull’s eye.
Yes, it certainly feels good when your films work and you are appreciated for the efforts you gave in to make films work. I am still a newcomer and I am trying to understand the industry and am choosing roles which I feel I can do justice to. I am really happy that I am being offered good roles and films.

So, how has the Bollywood journey been so far?
It has been great because I am doing what I have always wanted to. However, I haven’t forgotten my days as a struggler. I didn’t have a background in films, so I had my share of struggle. At the same time, I feel privileged to have started my career under Karan Johar’s guidance.

Your second film, Hasee Toh Phasee, was directed by Vinil Mathew, who was making his debut.

That’s the fun of working in this industry. You get to work with different people. Karan comes from a different school, and given the experience he has, I just went and surrendered to him. In Hasee to Phasee, Vinil was making his debut, and I was just one-film-old, and we decided to help each other because we both were in the process of learning.

You have beefed up for you upcoming film, Boxer, where you are working alongside Akshay Kumar.

The role demanded a lot from me and I have tried to give my best and do justice to the role. I was unwell for a few days and had lost some weight. Karan Malhotra (director) wanted me to gain some weight for the role. So I started weight training. The film has a lot of action. It’s a film on martial arts and I play a young and budding fighter.
Akshay plays your elder brother in the film.

Yes, and he is great at doing action shots. I am looking forward to shooting with him. I hope I can match his action skills and live up to the expectations of Karan and the audience. So long, I have been shooting with Jackie Shroff, who plays our father in the film. He is brilliant when it comes to execution. He is full of energy on the set of the film. There’s a lot to learn from him.

You will also be seen in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi, where you play a superhero.

It’s every actor’s dream to play a superhero. I am lucky that I got a chance to play a superhero early on in my career. I am really upbeat about the film. At the same time, it’s a big challenge playing a superhero because everyone looks up to you as an idol when you play such roles. The character I am playing doesn’t have extraordinary or supernatural powers. It’s not like a typical comic book superhero, which makes the story and the character quite unique.

But you have been taking up challenges. You even played a character with grey shades in Ek Villain. 

I think this is the time to experiment. I am new and I have to prove myself as an actor. I have to take up these challenges not just because they excite me, but also because I want to assess my abilities as an actor.

Finally, as an actor, what is more important for you right now — critical acclaim or box-office results?

I feel both are important for an actor because that helps him assess his worth, but right now, I would say box-office results are more important for me because that gives an actor the required confidence, and critical acclaim will follow. In fact, both these terms are co-related and I would prefer both critical acclaim and box-office results coming my way.

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