Anupam Kher completes 37 years in the film industry on Tuesday. Reflecting back on his journey of playing over 500 characters, the seasoned actor says he was never insecure as an actor and feels humbled for the love he has got.
The actor made his debut at the age of 28 in Mahesh Bhatt’s 1984 film “Saaransh”, laudably as a 58-year-old man.
“I was an insecure person at that time (when the journey started) because I didn’t have a place to stay, but I was never an insecure actor because I had done four years’ training from the best schools. I have done mundane, stupid films but I own all of them with pride. I own all of my insignificant work because that was part of my journey,” he says.
The actor has been noted for his roles in films like “Karma”, “Hum Aapke Hai Koun..!” and “Daddy” amongst numerous others. He says that he never took himself seriously during the course of his career.
“I feel humbled, very happy that God has been kind to me, the film industry has been kind to me. I am the son of a forest department clerk in Shimla. I think the joy of the journey is because I did not take myself seriously as a person. I did my job and I am glad that I chose ‘Saraansh’ as my debut film or rather I should say that it chose me as an actor. I always believe that if you take risks, God rewards you in a better way. A lot of people at that time pointed out to me that I was only 28. But the role was so phenomenal that if I had not done Saaransh, I may not have survived for such a long time,”Anupam says.
Anupam Kher continues: “I think it was a mixture of having the guts to do that (‘Saaransh’) and the other thing was that I knew that I needed to establish myself as an actor, rather than just another hero. I was from the National School of Drama and had a background of plays and I couldn’t have gotten a better role as a 58-year-old man. It was a dream launch for me and I put all my misery, humiliation, and lack of dignity, which I had got for three years by staying on the platforms, into that role and the result is there.”
“Every year we talk of films completing so many years because it has become a hashtag friendly word but how many people, and I say this with all humility, can boast about a film like ‘Saaransh’. It speaks of me not only as an actor but also the courage I showed by choosing this film,” he adds.
Kher has also tried his luck in Hollywood, of course, notably working with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in the multiple Oscar-nominated films “Silver Linings Playbook”, and has forayed the American television world with the medical drama show “New Amsterdam”, which he bid adieu to earlier this year. Despite scaling such an international high, he claims he still has his doubts as to an artist.
“As an actor, I have self-doubt even today. The day I become confident as an actor it will be the end of my growth. How can you say ‘I know this’? Acting has no syllabus. That’s why you have people giving brilliant performances at even 85. It comes from a lack of surety. It’s not that all films I have done are great classics. I have enjoyed the most mundane and idiotic films too because the journey is more important as the destination,” he says.