I am always a newcomer at heart, says Anupam Kher ahead of his Kannada debut
Though I am not able to give details about my role and the film, I was glad to be part of an interesting project,” he says.
Shivarajkumar’s heist thriller Ghost, directed by Srini, will be Anupam Kher’s 535th film and his debut in Kannada cinema. Kher, who was in Bengaluru recently, reveals he has worked in all regional languages of Indian cinema, except for Kannada and Gujarati.
Now, he is glad to have ticked off Kannada on his bucket list. “I was not offered roles in Kannada, and the couple of films that came my way – a decade ago – did not materialise,” says Kher, a firm believer of the adage ‘right things happen at the right time’.
“As in my case, it has taken some time for things to work out in the Kannada film industry. But everything has a beginning and for me, Ghost, produced by Sandesh Productions, marks the beginning of my entry into Sandalwood.”
Did blockbusters like KGF and Kantara catch the attention of the actor to take up a film from the industry?
“No. Both were wonderful films. From my end, I have begun to experiment with films. I like to be part of films where the roles have been written with me in mind. Like what Srini did with Ghost,” says Kher, adding, “I liked the way Srini approached this role and everything to do with it. From the narration, it sounded like a slick cinema. Though I am not able to give details about my role and the film, I was glad to be part of an interesting project,” he says.
While films were once restricted to commercial entertainers with elements of action, comedy, and family drama, directors are now experimenting with genres like heist thrillers. “Indian cinema has evolved in these 75 years, and we have reached a comfortable place now. Back in the day, cinema got the least priority. Now, things have changed. During Covid, people were hooked to regional and international cinema. People and their tastes have changed.
The audience perspective about cinema keeps changing, and that is one of the reasons the cinema industry – directors, producers, actors and technicians – have to keep reinventing. Regional cinema has played a major role in capturing rooted stories, although Hindi cinema has wavered at times in this aspect. But I am glad that things are back to normal and work is on in full swing,” he says.
Kher is an actor who has seen the transition of cinema in close quarters. However, the multi-talented artiste doesn’t like to look at life or cinema critically. “I don’t take myself seriously. I don’t like word like ‘legends’ and ‘thespians’. I am always a newcomer at heart and this thought keeps me alive. Ghost is my 535th film, but I don’t behave like an actor who has done so much work. I believe that the lighter I am, the higher I will go,” he says.
Does he enjoy watching south Indian films? “I saw Kantara and RRR in the theatre with my friends. Because the more actors are connected with people, the more they can reinvent themselves. I watch south Indian films although I don’t watch other films regularly. In fact, I have not even watched more than 200 films of mine,” he says.
Kher’s connection with Bengaluru is not just with films. “I do a lot of motivational lectures here. I launched my third book here. I love the city and have a lot of memories. I shot my first venture in Infosys. I friends who I keep coming back to meet here,” says the actor.
Actor Anupam Kher, who will be making his debut in Kannada cinema with the film Ghost, opens up to CE about the long wait to launch in Sandalwood, what keeps him going, and his connection to Bengaluru