Saiyami Kher has been praised for her performance in Anurag Kashyap’s Choked. Released on June 5, the Netflix original film centres on a bank cashier who finds an unlimited source of money under her kitchen sink.
The comic thriller is backdropped on the 2016 demonetisation and also stars Roshan Mathew. In a long Twitter thread, Saiyami thanked Anurag for believing in her. She recalled meeting Anurag for the first time and getting to know him personally.
“The first time I met Anurag Kashyap, he called me to his Versova house. Before I could say anything, he said, ‘My parents live with me. You don’t have to worry!’He was supposed to be the “Bad Boy of Bollywood”. His life according to the outside world was “riddled with drugs, women & vices.” The truth, I later learnt, was completely the opposite.
It was a typical chaotic Indian household. Parents looking for a newspaper, the doorbell constantly ringing, Shrilalji furiously cooking for the increasing guests, a cat strutting around & AK looking for just one quiet corner in his own home.” Saiyami shared she and Anurag became friends over the last years. “From the time he offered me Choked (sitting next to me at MAMI) to the date of release, it took three years. That’s when I really got to know the man.
He became a friend, mentor & sounding board. With him you know you get the whole truth. When he loves your work he jumps, dances, cries & expresses joy; if he doesn’t he just says it.”
Saiyami added that Kashyap has no filters, and that is perhaps both his boon and bane.“He loves his whiskey; which I keep nagging him to reduce (and also to increase his exercise!). He has a child-like innocence & open-heartedness that is seldom seen in today’s times. He’s so busy playing agony aunt in other people’s lives that perhaps, he forgets about his own. That’s AK for you. It’s always other people before himself. It’s rare to have people through your difficulties. It’s even rarer to have people who truly feel happy for you."
Saiyami had made her Bollywood debut in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya (2016). The film, which also starred Harshvardhan Kapoor, had failed to work at the box-office. “Today, when the people who dismissed me three years ago call up lauding my performance, there’s no one happier & prouder than AK,” Saiyami wrote. “Thank you for believing in me, Anurag Kashyap. Thank you for making me believe in myself again!”