SUNDAR, SEXY & RISKY SIDHARTH MALHOTRA RULES!
He’s definitely ‘drool’worthy. And though this interview did go through its share of bumpity rides with many a ‘not today, Sidharth’s shooting schedule has changed’ responses. The gorgeous Sidharth Malhotra more than made up for all the irritating delays
There’s something about Sidharth Malhotra… Perhaps it’s the intensity of his limpid brown eyes that gaze at the world with utmost sincerity or maybe it’s just his impactful screen presence. Perhaps it’s his boyish charm that make the girls swoon and is such a hit with the audience. …Whatever it is, this man, they say, has the same magical zing that perhaps legends like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna had. Of course, Sidharth has been in the industry for just five years. And though he’s had his share of hits and misses, he’s carved a niche for himself. And with his repertoire of fine performances in his varied films, one can confidently say that Sidharth Malhotra is definitely a superstar in the making. Read on to know more about Sidharth’s take on his upcoming films, media, love and life...
You are extremely low profiled. You just do your work and stay away from the limelight. Is this a conscious decision to be different from the other actors? No, I don’t think it’s a conscious decision. It’s just me. My day-to-day deals are so well planned and well thought of that everything in my life goes like clockwork. I feel I do whatever comes naturally to me, and basically whatever I am used to. When it comes to movies, I want to do as much as I can, as many films as I can, more interesting stories... But yes, I get so caught up with the movie making business that I don’t have the time for anything else. Of course, I go out when I have to. But I really don’t have too much time for anything else. But of course, now you’ll see a lot of me as I have three upcoming film releases in the next six months. So I think you’ll get quite tired of seeing me now. (laughs)
Ittefaq is creating quite a buzz. What made you take up this film? We are very excited with the response that the Ittefaq poster has got. There is definitely a buzz. I think people like the suspense angle in the film. I chose this film because it was a genre that I have not seen on the big screen for a while which is a pure, simple murder mystery. In recent times, I don’t think we’ve seen a very good murder mystery. So I picked this film because it was very interesting and I also play a character, which has a lot of grey shades. In the film, people are accused of murder and you don’t know who has ‘done it’ till the end. So I think it is a very exciting film to watch for me as an audience and I am excited to play a character like that as an actor. Also, I have a great team of producers backing the film as well - that just speaks volumes about how good our content is. Red Chillies, Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar - it’s a great team. And I enjoyed interacting with all the actors in this film. It was great working with Akshaye Khanna and even though Sonakshi and I are not paired opposite each other, and we are just playing characters, it was great to play a character alongside her. I think she is a fabulous performer.
I think Jacqueline, as a person, is the easiest person to get along.”
Sidharth, you’ve picked a lot of films with interesting characters even anti-hero kinds. Wasn’t that risky as a newcomer? My entire life and journey has been a risk. I belong to South Delhi, and I came all the way to Mumbai to become an actor. I was a complete outsider and it was a complete risk! I have had my period of struggle too. When I came to Mumbai, I was unemployed for a long time. And I lived in the hope that I would get a break. I started out as an assistant director and even went through the critical phase of hoping and believing that I might make it someday as an actor. Of course, it was a huge risk! It took me five years to get a film. So you see, my life has trained me to take risks. And when I did get a chance, it was the most amazing one. I was launched in a film called Student Of The Year with Karan Johar. It was absolutely awesome. And I got immense exposure. So I always go with my gut instincts and that’s how I took up films like Ek Villain, Hasee Toh Phasee - and my instincts are very strong. And I felt these were stories that the other people would not tell. And that’s what I wanted to do - to stand out and do the kind of content which would speak for itself and not take the easy route. Nothing in my life has come easy so far and I like it just this way. So I felt why stop even in movies - might as well, take risks here too and see what happens!
You’ve just said that you’re an outsider. And Karan Johar launched you. I can’t help but ask you about the great “nepotism” question. What do you think? Does nepotism exist in the industry? I was just reading one of Ranbir’s quotes. He was promoting Jagga Jasoos and not denying it at all. He is from a film family. His father, Mr Rishi Kapoor got into the films because of his father and likewise, Ranbir. So, it is a culture. I would not deny the fact. Mind you, I’m giving Ranbir’s example, quoting his own quotes. But I don’t have an opinion on it. I wouldn’t say anything is right or wrong or good or bad. Because I am a prime example of an outsider and yes, I somehow am standing up for the outsiders who have come and made it. Look at Mr Shah Rukh Khan, Mr Bachchan, look at Mr Akshay Kumar… there are names in the industry which have reached somewhere from the outside and have made it so big. And that’s the way it is. I feel it is difficult to make a comment without offending people or without taking anything away from their hard work. So I feel, to each their own. And at the end of the day, it is the audience who judges the performance and the film. And that’s all that matters! I feel eventually what somebody does in front of the camera is far more important than how he reached there. If they aren’t doing anything good in front of the camera, the film won’t work.
You’ve got another film under your belt which everybody is very excited about… A
I chose Ittefaq because it was a genre that I have not seen on the big screen.”
If I don’t talk about my personal life or my equation with somebody, it is something I can do without.”
Gentleman and your chemistry with your co-actor Jacqueline Fernandez is super HOT! What do you have to say about the vibe you and Jacqueline share in the film? Well, we shot for A Gentleman for about a year. We shot at various locations - Miami, Mumbai, Bangkok. So it took quite a while and it is a film which I have given a lot to. It has everything that I would like to watch in a film - action, comedy, entertainment and even a thrill angle to it. It’s got romance with Jacqueline. And coming to your question, I think Jacqueline, as a person, is the easiest person to get along. You never have an ice breaker moment with her. She comes across as very open and friendly. And that’s how we keep it. We met on the sets and though we worked briefly in Brothers, we got to know each other much better in this film. She’s witty and cool. A quality which I envy about her is that I’ve never seen her in a bad mood, which is an amazing thing. Obviously, everybody goes through their ups and downs. But she always knows how to control her downs, specially her mood, which is an amazing quality about her, which I really envy and admire. She is also a hard worker, who is really focussed about her work and wants to do as much as she can. And I respect that about her. She’s been a fabulous, easy, fun co-star perhaps a bit too obsessed with the social media, which I keep pulling her leg about. But it’s really been great and I am pretty much looking forward to the promotions of A Gentleman. You’ve been in the industry for five years. How has the journey been? The journey has been very interesting. There is so much that I have learned about myself, so much I’ve learnt about the industry, movies, about scripts. Not coming from a filmi background. I was completely unaware about what the movies or the industry is all about. So these five years have been so much of a learning experience. I have been like a sponge and picked up stuff. And I have learnt
so much - filmmaking is such a big collaborative effort. I also learnt how important it is to not only choose the words on paper but also with the people you work with. I’ve learnt to push my limits and try out different genres - whether it’s action, romance or comedy or even to play a specific character. So I have no complains. I think it has been a great rollercoaster ride and I am hoping that will keep making me learn more and more things about myself. But personally, I believe I have a nice, fulfilling life.
…And you have made a huge success of yourself. What is the toughest thing about being a film star? Is it us? The media? I think that’s a perception. It took me a while to understand that being communicative is a part and parcel of my job. There are certain pages to be filled, certain websites to be filled, and you realize that you can’t take it personally. So it’s a part and parcel of stardom. But I think the hardest thing would be as an actor to, maybe, dig my nose in public! I have to control myself - I am a bratty Delhi boy! (laughs).
Varun and you started almost at the same time. What is your equation with him? The equation is great! We actually started off before Student Of The Year. I met him when I was an assistant director in My Name Is Khan. So our interaction is from way back. Our equation is great and it will always remain so. But again, conjecture about our equation will always remain… more so for filling up more pages. Just because we are all busy in our world, and we haven’t worked together for some time. People have speculations or want to think and assume certain things. But there is nothing much to say about it. It’s been a long association. I think all of us are extremely friendly from the Student Of The Year group.
Talking about speculation… There’s a lot said about Alia Bhatt and you. Don’t you think Sidharth, that if you come out and say, ‘okay we are a couple, just good friends or even that we just hang out together’… the speculation will stop. But does it really make a difference? First professionally, I think we are all the same because we are actors. People want to talk about us because of the characters we are playing or how the box office is doing. So I think that is the first and foremost thing which is of prime importance. If I am not giving you details about my films, I should be worried. If I am not releasing my trailer on time, I should be worried… But if I don’t talk about my personal life or my equation with somebody, it is something I can do without. Because priority wise, the whole reason I am talking to you is because of my movies and my work, and not who I’m seeing or not.
Are you satisfied with your career graph as a film star and actor? I think satisfaction is a destination which none of us have achieved. I can’t say that I am completely satisfied. But I have gratitude for being where I am, so I am somewhere in the middle. And I think that is exactly where my journey is. It is just the beginning because there are lessons which have been learnt. There are some people that I’ve met, great directors, who I have worked with, great stories that I have been a part of, so I am happy. I’m still starting out but I won’t say I am satisfied. But I’d say I have a lot of gratitude in my heart for the past and I am really excited about the future.
If you weren’t a film star, what would you be? My mom and dad were extremely stressed out when I didn’t get Maths after my 11th and 12th in Delhi, so the only thing which was left was Accounts. And they were like kya karega ladka bade hoke? And I was one of those millions of kids in Delhi who were really lost and who had that herd mentality. No offence to my brother who did his MBA but I refused to be a part of the herd where I’d do my MBA and get into a marketing or finance job. Already 15 of my friends were doing just that. And I was sure I didn’t want that! Now I am really happy that I didn’t get into that herd.
Lucky, for us, you became an actor and not a marketing guy… Exactly! You guys wouldn’t have had me if I were working in an office. (laughs).
Sidharth, is there anything you want to tell our avid Stardust readers? Stardust is one of the most oldest and classic brands in India. During my growing up years, every shop I’d go to had a Stardust, and I couldn’t help but flip the pages and see pictures of actors, and see what movies were coming out or what they were up to. So I am extremely excited to be on the cover of Stardust. It is an extreme high for me that people will be reading about me in Stardust and I hope this keeps going on for many more years and many more movies of mine. And thank you, Stardust for always being there and making us read about the movies.
Satisfaction is a destination which none of us have achieved.”
a still from Ittefaq
...with Alia Bhatt