'Aamir Khan's dedication to his craft is inspiring'

'Aamir Khan's dedication to his craft is inspiring'

Actor talk

With the success of films like Luck By Chance and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in his kitty, actor Sid Makkar recently added another Hollywood feather to his cap by landing a role in the Netflix show Sense8.

In a free-wheeling chat with Metrolife, the actor, who has also acted on television and theatre, tells Shweta Sharma about his first break, his new show, and willingness to work with actors like Irrfan Khan, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.

When did you decide to be an actor?

I studied Computer Science and Economics at the University of Texas, USA. While there, I detested what I was studying, but loved college life. The acting bug had bitten me a few years before, but the instability of the career made me choose a different path. However, I realised I can only put my heart and soul into something if I love it….and I loved movies and acting. So I packed my bags, came back to India and have loved every moment of it since.

Tell us about your first break on television?

I had acted in just a movie and a play. When my play Lift Karade opened at Prithvi theatre, I was offered three TV shows the same weekend. Until then, I was wary of working on TV and quoted a very high figure; and to my own surprise, one of them agreed. So I started work on a show for Zee TV.

How did you bag your first movie Kis Kis Ki Kismat opposite Dharmendra and Mallika Sherawat?

With some good luck and a lot of hard work. I heard of this audition, tested for it and got the part! No recommendations, no connections, no godfathers!

You’ve experienced all — TV, theatre and films — which do you enjoy most; and which do you find most challenging?

Be it film, theatre or TV, I’ll do it all as long as the content is rich. In India, while the content on television is only just beginning to evolve, and the best work is happening in films, in the West, the best work is happening on television and web-based series. So that’s what I enjoy being a part of. And theatre is something I love doing whenever an opportunity presents itself and I have the time. It’s an actor’s medium, and the live audience experience is a high! But the payoff is not so great which makes it difficult to
survive on.

You’ve worked with actors Richard Gere and Judi Dench, how was the experience?

With Judi Dench, the experience was brilliant because I’ve shot with her in two films (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel). She is a legend and a purist as an actor. When I last met her, she was in her late 70’s, shooting in India, nominated at the Oscars for best actress, about to start dance rehearsals for her next film and had a boyfriend. I was like, this is how I’d like to be when I’m her age!

Richard Gere was just very cool. Very friendly and talked to everyone like he had been their friend for years. Just a cool cat!

Which Bollywood actor would you like to work with?

Irrfan Khan, as I love his work. Aamir Khan, because his dedication to his craft is inspiring. And, Amitabh Bachchan because I only remember watching his films while growing up.

If not an actor, what would you have been?

A very unhappy businessman!

What keeps you busy at the moment?

I’ve just completed my shoot for Sense8 season 2. It’s a series on Netflix directed by Lana Wachowski (director of The Matrix). A brilliant experience; I can’t wait for it to come out. I don’t know what I’m doing next. I have a few things on my plate, but I’m taking my time before the next bite.

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