We have seen Sidharth Malhotra essaying different roles in his previous films. He last amazed us with his mysterious character in Ittefaq. His work was quite appreciated by the fans and the critics as we saw something new! Even now, we will see Sid in a different and fresh avatar in his upcoming film, Aiyaary. The whole team of Aiyaary is on a promotional spree and is leaving no stone unturned to promote the film.
Recently, KoiMoi.com met the charming actor and spoke about his upcoming flick, Aiyaary. He spoke about his challenging role, Neeraj Pandey- a dream director of every actor, box office numbers, his upcoming projects and much more!
Excerpts from the interview:
1. Working in a Neeraj Pandey film is a dream of every actor and he is definitely on everybody’s wish list. So how was the feeling when you were approached for Aiyaary?
Absolutely! I first met him a year ago when he was making MS Dhoni: The Untold Story at that time and he had no plans of making Aiyaary then, so it is quite funny! I said, ‘Sir, it will be great to work with you!’ And it so happened that his next film Aiyaary came out suddenly in his head and he brought it down. Then I got a call and it was very interesting to hear the story. He has a unique style of making movies and he is one of the few directors who genuinely want to make a difference in the society and the audience. So Aiyaary is no different, it is about the armed forces but not a war film. We are addressing so many issues within the country- be it corruption or politics…so all this is in the backdrop of a fast-paced thriller. The tussle is between Manoj sir and my character, he is my guru in the film.
So, it was an instant yes! For him, for the story and what he is trying to say, I think he is a fabulous voice and he’s always tried to make a good point with all his movies which I also love about him.
2. In this film, we will see you in a different role and this is something very new and unusual from what we have seen earlier. So how challenging it was for you to essay this role, since we have seen several brilliant Bollywood actors playing the role of an army officer.
Definitely! Without giving out much about the film, I am playing an Army officer. But you would question him whether he is doing right or wrong. As I said it is not a war film, so it is not an action film, it is a thriller where you are trying to cuss out this character if it’s going justice to the armed forces or not. I think that was the challenge to play, the grey within this character and definitely to get into the armed forces and their body language, their personality, they have a way of functioning…so all these preparations I had to do. I also met a lot of Army personnels and spoke to them about their work and mission. Also, we have shot at all real locations. When we shot in Kashmir, we shot at a BSF camp, there I got to meet the jawans first-hand and see how they stay, what they eat, everything! So I think that helped me to bring it about in the film.
3. You know Neeraj Pandey is a master sketcher when it comes to his characters. From the major leads to the minor ones, he depicted every character with brilliance. How was the experience of working with him and how different was his style of working from other directors?
I think his level of involvement is very high because he writes dialogues, he writes the screenplay. So nobody else on set would know more about the film than him. I think that is something for an actor is relaxing because you ask him any question, he has the answer. He’s done the homework for you. I think he is a one-man army on set. So the whole environment was very pro telling the story. He is not someone who will get embroiled in the commercial aspects. I think a director who has that kind of focus on his story would definitely tell something new and interesting. And that’s the reason we all like Neeraj Pandey! (Smiles).
4. The trailer looks amazing and it does create an impact on the viewers. In the trailer, what got my attention was that phone call conversation between you and Manoj Bajpayee. So can we see another A Wednesday like monologue?
There are bits which you will feel that it is similar because two people are not on the same place and talking on the phone, I think that’s the similarity Neeraj sir was referring to. But ya, I loved A Wednesday, it was such an amazing thriller. So if you feel the same with Aiyaary, I will super happy!
5. You are also sharing the screen space with some great actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah. How was the experience with them?
Though I share the maximum amount of scenes with Manoj sir because that is where the crust of two characters is based. Unfortunately, I didn’t have many scenes with Anupam sir and Naseer sir. So, that’s my one complaint with Neeraj sir that my character doesn’t interact with Anupam sir or Naseer sir. But as an actor when you know the cast around you has so much experience, it calms you down because you know that they will do their job really well and it helps you to play the character properly. So I think it will be great for the audience to see such a massive cast come together and tell this thriller.
6. Do you think with this film your lover boy image will be changed?
I won’t say that I have a lover boy image because I have done a very wide variety of films. I don’t know it’s up to the audience to decide. I have no such expectations from the film to break anything, I just want to make a good film.
7. If you have to imbibe any trait from your character, what would that be?
He is definitely somebody who has taken a stand to make a difference, taken a stand against all odds…so I think that’s something that we all can learn!
8. Your last few films didn’t do that well at the box office except Ittefaq. So were you disheartened by the failure? And do you have high hopes with Aiyaary?
Definitely ya! There are certain things like every actor does films to be successful. I mean they don’t go your way, there is a sense of disappointment and disheartening. But being said I think these are the early years and there will be right or wrongs. In every film I have expectations, also with Aiyaary I do have expectations because of a fabulous director like Neeraj sir and because I feel it is very relevant and it will connect, it is a very real film. So everyone would understand it and relate to it. So yes, I am hoping that it would do justice. I think it has all the ingredients to become a good box office hit. So I am looking out for the numbers this time and since I got appreciation in Ittefaq, I am looking for both now- appreciation and box office, I am being greedy now!
9. Most actors say that public review doesn’t matter to them anymore as today everyone has become a critic. So do you feel the same?
I think sadly yes, I won’t say critic but sadly the whole judgement of a film being good or bad is based on business. And it is now available on the internet and it’s accessible to everyone, so it’s a very sad state at times when people judge purely by numbers in the first one day, three days or lifetime. I think everyone has to make up their own mind. What suits a particular person might not suit the other. We have such a wide variety of audience in India, so that’s only I would say a sad thing that has happened through social media. They are so accessible and people are so obsessed with the business that sometimes they don’t appreciate the finer things in the film or what the filmmaker is trying to say.
10. Lastly, what’s next in the pipeline?
Later in the year, there is another army biopic which is Captain Vikram Batra, someone who gave life for our country in Kargil war, before that there will be another love story but as soon as things will be locked I will talk about it. For Aashiqui 3, you will have to check with the director and the producers.