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‘I Hope I Am Noticed for My Acting, Not for My Face or Physique’

With his second film Hasee Toh Phasee in theatres, actor Siddharth Malhotra talks about being an outsider in Bollywood.

Published: 09th February 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2014 03:20 PM   |  A+A-

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Last month Siddharth Malhotra turned a year older on January 16. It was a special day for the Hasee Toh Phasee actor for more than one reason. “My family is in Delhi which is where I grew up. After I moved to Mumbai, I hadn’t spent my birthday in Delhi with my friends and family. So, it was great that I could do that this year,” shares the 29-year-old model-turned-actor. But that’s not all. Siddharth is going to remember January 16, 2014 for a very long time because of his first ever crazed-fan encounter. “Some girls landed up at my parent’s home in Delhi. I wasn’t home and my mother thought they were friends, so she invited them in. So, there was a group of these girls who I didn’t know at all sitting in my home. At some point, my mother called to check when I was coming home because I had ‘friends’ waiting. When none of their names rang a bell, I told mom that these must be fans who had just tried their luck,” he recalls with a laugh. “My parents are middle-class people. They don’t understand how fans behave. My mom got very flustered when she realised that she had invited absolute strangers into the house.”

Don’t get him wrong. It’s not like Siddharth is not grateful for every tweet, letter and occasional cake that comes his way from fans. “One of the best parts of being an actor is receiving so much love from absolute strangers. But you will admit that it is a little scary when a bunch of them are sitting in your drawing room.” So, what happened to the group of girls? “Well, I spoke with them on the phone and thanked them for coming over to wish me and mom fed them cake.”

Siddharth broke out of the Bollywood scene two years ago with mentor Karan Johar’s Student of the Year along with Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan. While his co-stars have managed to stay in the news for some reason, Siddharth seemed to have disappeared for a while. “Well, I was making the movies that you’ll see this year starting with Hasee Toh Phasee and The Villian which you’ll see later this year. I don’t understand why I need to be in the news when I don’t have a film releasing. Would anyone go to see my film because I am written about or because the film looks interesting? I am new in the industry and I am doing what I think works.” 

The actor is all geared to prove his mettle with his second release, which he insists is the litmus test. “I can’t take any credit for SOTY because it wasn’t a solo hero film. Also, audiences were drawn to the theatres to see a Karan Johar film. With HTP, I have to prove myself. I am not saying that this a make-or-break film because I have films after this as well, but this is an important film for me.”

With HTP, Siddharth is also hoping to prove that he is more than just a pretty face. “You know, after SOTY everyone was talking about my looks. I am hoping that they see more than just my face or physique in HTP. I am here to act and I hope that people notice my acting skills in this film.”

His co-actors in SOTY are industry kids and in HTP Siddharth is paired opposite Parineeti Chopra, who has elder cousin Priyanka Chopra to go to for advice. Who does he rely on for advice and support in Bollywood? “I have no one. I live alone in Mumbai and I can only rely on myself to make the right decisions about everything from what film to sign to what toothpaste to buy. It’s a great experience and it teaches you a lot, but it is also very tough.”

As he tries to find his footing in Bollywood, Siddharth is more than aware of his competition. From Ayushman Khurranna to Sushant Singh Rajput and Aditya Roy Kapur, he is pitted against a very talented crop of new actors. “Why just these names? I would presume even someone like Ranbir Kapoor or Imran Khan are competition even though they have been around for longer. I guess, the only way for each of us is to create our own niche. You have to put on your blinkers and get down to work.”



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