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Interview By: Amul Vikas Mohan

With back-toback hits, Sidharth Malhotra has come a long way. His latest release ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ is a unique love story. We catch up with the actor who speaks about the film, the transition of his character, being a part of the ‘Dream Team’ and more…

“I’m confident of the choices I’ve made”

How and why did you choose to do ‘Baar Baar Dekho?’

‘Baar Baar Dekho’, is love story which is done so many times. We all have grown up seeing love stories, I think every angle has been done, every conflict has been done, today even there is no reason that a boy and girl are not together anymore, there is no father who is not angry, there is no money to be made, there is no caste system left, it’s all very personal and that’s exactly what ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ talks about. It’s about Jay and Diya where he knows this girl since childhood. He is very comfortable with her and even then he’s skeptical, he is commitment phobic, he doesn’t want to marry her and he’s worried; then we show how a guy like this; if he could get the future of his story how would he do that.

Why do we see you playing a committed phobic guy?

I don’t know it isn’t a conscious decision but I think in ‘ Baar Baar Dekho’ the interesting part was that the director Nitya wanted to show the narrative, you skip forward in time like you show what if you could see the future of your love story and I get to play someone older. I get to play three generations, I think it has a scope of performance; like how I did with ‘Kapoor & Sons’ it’s a family film done differently; we had different ways of showing emotions. Similarly this one a love story which is done so differently and I’m very excited to play this and why am I playing a committed phobic guy? It’s because majority of the youth today is that, who are working so hard and all their goals are in professional way it’s not that I want to meet a girl and settle down and marry.

That means we are our own villains?

Oh yes, our conflicts are only within us. There are no external conflicts, which relate to pan India which doesn’t have any problem. Now the Marathi film like ‘Sairat’ might not appeal to pan India so we are trying to make it which is catering to urban pan India, the same people who are carted to in ‘Kapoor& Sons’ so I think sensibilities are there to understand such movies and concepts.

As you said you got to play three generations in the film so how exciting was it to get into different characters, get into the look and all ?

The look part was very exciting, the first day of work at ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ was to do my prosthetic look’s face map, they face map your face. So we had a team from London called mark Coulier team. He is an Oscar winner so we signed up with them because we were shooting in Glasgowso we could work with them there; his team was so technical that they measured our faces, they clicked pictures, they know our hair lines, they saw pictures of our parents to see how genetically will we age, they get tips to how to age because it was all hand done. So there was about 8 months to a year before shoot they took face map of all the characters and they drew out how they want us to age; not only once, they aged us twice. So I was really excited. I never got to see it before. I got to see it little bit in ‘Kapoor & Sons’ because of Rishi sir, but we had a different technique; we didn’t have that much of prosthetics as he did. So it was great as an actor to age yourself to 46 and beyond. I don’t know how it feels like, I don’t know how it will be but I made, created things I would be like this; may be ill look like this may be the mannerism will change.  One more thing which is interesting in this film is that as a character I’m playing a 46 year old man physically but mentally I’m from the past, so there’s a nice twist to it. He’s always confused, he’s not supposed to play so old because his mind is still 31 so that was one interesting twist.  We were very conscious to add that little element; yet we have kept it very subtle and under tone; so I think there was so much new for me to try from Katrina Kaif to trying on prosthetic and the new look.

How was it working with Katrina Kaif because she’s such a big actress, so how was it collaborating with her because the audiences are talking about your chemistry?

Well Katrina, I didn’t know her so well before. We might have met socially only; but now we realise we had met before. She must have forgotten but she had come on my first day of shoot in ‘Radha’ she was shooting at the same studio and we all shot ‘Radha’ song and we all were extremely nervous, she was there and I met her. We spoke to each other and I introduced myself to her. We were so consumed by our first film that we don’t really meet somebody so properly, but I remember that meeting; because obliviously she has worked much more than me and also that I’ve seen her films so now it’s so surreal that she’s my heroine and I’m doing a love story with her. I feel she’s extremely attractive and I’ve had the biggest crush on her. I’m pretty happy that I’m working with her, when I met her I came to know how simple she is as a girl, she doesn’t take her stardom and position for granted, she works hard for every song, every scene like it’s her first and I feel there’s a reason why she’s at this stage today after so many films. Pan India people know her; she’s got an amazing fan following and she’s worked on various kinds of films. I like the choices she’s made recently and I’m super excited as she also said yes to a film like ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ where in, it’s a love story where the boy and girl don’t meet for the first  and both know each other since childhood, so me and Katrina both were very conscious about it and she was very open to the fact that we need to get to that familiarity, we need to be comfortable with each other, body language wise; that’s why you’ll see us more intimate because these are the people who know each other since childhood and I think even Katrina also understood that really well and she was extremely open to that stage and she knew she wanted to perform. I think one has never seen her connecting to a character like this; I think last was ‘Namaste London’ where she could really connect to that girl; after that I think this is the next film that will really feel that Katrina really fits the part, really associates to every emotions the girl is going through, so I think that’s a great thing if people are enjoying our chemistry that means we’ve done a great work.

You’ve been very consistent in terms of box office and turns out so now is there any added pressure on you that you have with this film of yours and also to keep that consistency tagged down at you?

Not pressure but an added kind of push you want to make as an actor, like now our promotions are on; so I would like to give my all to the promotions and do whatever I can, to get my film to how many people I can. I think that steps from the fact that yes, as an actor, as a profitable actor you want to make sure that every producer makes money from your movie, that is what plays back of my head; and this film is equally same and special because it’s the genre I like and it’s a genre I would like to venture into in future as well which has a pure love story, which has got great concept, storytelling, emotions, it’s about relationships. It is genre I would love to do in future even for my personal gains not only for the producers; I don’t take pressure of that so far it’s going well. I’m confident of the choices I’ve made so yeah I’m definitely conscious of it, if not pressurized.

Also on other consistent part, you’re having a chartbuster in every film…

I consider that in all my movies my music directors who have worked with me and all the singers who have composed worked with me are lucky; also that I feel our industry is incomplete without songs. We still love our movies because we still remember the romantic tracks, dance numbers, may be the placements have changed we don’t have the situation anymore so we just cut to and put a song but songs are a very integral part of Hindi cinema; and I’m very excited, be it a romantic track like ‘Galliyan’ which was a chartbuster or a dancing number like ‘Chull’ and now ‘Kala Chasma’. I think me and Badshah are having an amazing year, both Badshah and me have had two biggest songs of this year. I think music travels first as I’ve seen that in promotions right now, before the people know the film they know the music and that’s what you need to promote. I think one thing that misses in a film to promote is music if you don’t have music I don’t know how else to promote the film because pan India wants to see you so you have to do something for them and dancing is the easiest thing to do for them it makes them happy it excites them, so I’m very happy that this year I have three chartbusters that I can perform too and dance too and yeah hopefully this won’t be the end. I actually want to do the lip sync on a pure romantic track, I missed it on ‘Galliyan’. I couldn’t lip sync it because it’s in film and the culture is going. I think I did a little in ‘Bolna’, because I had actually asked for it, but I want to do a full-fledged like Hindi film romantic hero; like my last one I did was ‘Ishq wala Love’ running around in mountains, a dream sequence so I have that craze and a desire to do such a romantic track so let’s see may be in future.

“I think in ‘ Baar Baar Dekho’ the interesting part was that the director Nitya wanted to show the narrative, you skip forward in time like you show what if you could see the future of your love story”

How was your experience with the ‘Dream team’ and the fans out there?

The ‘Dream team’ tour was extremely special for me because I would like to explain it to people that I’ve not grown up in this world I’ve never been so connected in this filmy world and I’ve never seen a filmy show. I don’t know how it works, I’ve never seen an actor on stage, I’ve always seen actors in cinema halls or may be walking around in Mumbai when I came; so for me it was such a surreal experience. I also learnt in a way on the job may be I’ve seen in you tube. I was trying to do what hero’s do, what do actors do on stage because this was a different medium, the people have not come to see an award show they have just purely come to see us dance, they love our movies, they love our songs, they love Bollywood music and these are  the NRI’s who don’t get chance to see us; so it took me one show to realize the power of Bollywood and the work we do and how we connect to people and specially for a person like me who is so un aware and disconnected because I’m not from this industry.

You even did an IFFA performance…

Yes, I did IIFA where I got a taste of it but its slightly different because the front 10 rows are still the industry and obviously you get cheers from the back and I thoroughly enjoyed that also when I was here, but I can’t explain and I think it’s one experience that has helped me just to understand the sheer potential of what I can do or where I’m I today; appose to see the interest of fans where they see us in future be it a romantic hero or somebody who’s dancing, they just accepted us that was the biggest personal satisfaction that I got, I was like wow!! This was the biggest form of flattery or the biggest form of acceptance when your name comes and people roar or cheer up to see you, meet you and click pictures, when we go down they don’t want you let go they hold your hand; so it’s a different high. We were extremely tired the whole ‘Dream team’ star’s, dancers and performances had worked extremely hard. We did six shows in two weeks; we went east coast to west coast in one day and the crowd started getting bigger and bigger we interacted with them. They know us personally I feel because they get to see our personality. So I think everyone have come up really charged with full of energy to perform and make better movies and specially me I would say because generally I was clueless of what actors do but now I feel the power of Bollywood, I feel the position that I am in, I feel more responsible to entertainer them further and I will always remember this tour because it really opened my head up.

And will you do more of these?

Definitely! The ‘Dream team’ itself is very excited to go to different continents may be we will go to Dubai, London, and ‘Dream team’ might get bigger or people might change depending on how we plan it. We are extremely excited, it was like a school trip with all your classmates there; having fun, travelling with them, eating with them, sleeping with them, we were all in one plane which was a small plane and I remember Aditya sleeping on the floor one day because we both were the tallest boys and I would be relaxing on the chair and then we would exchange it; so it was a lot of fun. There were no egos floating around and everybody got along, so yeah there are lot of special memories and we would definitely do one more trip.

So you’ve already started your shoot for your next untitled film directed by Raj & DK, so how far the progress has been till?

It has two directors and not even one title fixed (laughs) so I’m trying to follow that and we will come up with a nice title soon. We have only shot about 40% of the film, majority is still left. There’s a lot of action to shoot so that will happen at the outdoor next as soon as we release ‘Baar Baar Dekho’. We will be going outdoor to shoot may be Thailand to shoot the action bits and when we come back the remaining shoot may be will happen in Goa or Malaysia, so we have three more different locations left. It’s an action entertaining film and an action film with a twist; I think every genre I like or I’m getting to venture in I’m trying to add an element which is new, be it a love story which has a time element to it to seeing into future or be it a family drama like ‘Kapoor & Sons’ which is very settle and pretty like getting into your drawing room type of a film or be it like an action film which is this fox film which has a humorous quirky side to it; we are doing action but we are not taking ourselves so seriously so yeah I’m pretty excited for the future.

And you have ‘Ittefaq’ after that?

Yes, I have a film ‘Ittefaq’ ‘Ittefaq’ I feel, we are almost bringing back the genre which is dead. People are not making murder mysteries anymore. ‘Who’s done it?’ which is a kickass genre. I don’t remember the last film or a big film done on it. So I’m purely excited for it and I’ve read the script and I’m like wow! nobody has done it in a while it’s a short crisped film it’s about one night and murder happens it’s obviously the remake of the original ‘Ittefaq’ but we’ve change the twist we’ve changed the characters and I can definitely bet you that nobody can guess who the killer is. It’s got me and Sonakshi but we are not romantically involved; both of us are suspects. So I’m very excited for this genre and looking forward to it.

How hectic has it been for you in these 90 days? You’ve travelled the world and you’ve comeback and now doing promotions for ‘Baar Baar Dekho’…

It’s been very hectic, my team was complaining that they’ve not got any days off and not got any sleep, it doesn’t matter to me because I stay alone but I think they have family out here and responsibilities to look out for; so I really feel bad for them far worst for them for my whole team for working so hard and keeping me the way I am and helping me to work harder. And talking about work since I’ve comeback, if I had to tell you even before the ‘Dream team’ we were only rehearsing for about three weeks and then we went for the tour for two weeks and I’ve been back for about two weeks now, since I’ve landed from that plane next day I went to ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ sets and then went to multiple other sets like ‘Comedy nights with Kapil Sharma’, ‘Comedy Nights bachao’, ‘Voice India’, so genuinely me and my team hasn’t had a day off which I think will happen now. So yeah I’m blessed and happy that there is work and this is the reason I wanted to come here. My days are fixed and my time is consumed and I’m making something productive or just churning out different type of content. I’m not complaining may be my body does sometimes but my heart and my soul is very happy. I’m living my Bollywood dream, busy everyday not getting time to think and it’s all about connecting to people and just doing better in my work.

Still you got the time to go and take pictures with all the fans?

Yes I like that, that’s also a part of my dream because I use to be in another spectrum that “an actor didn’t get time to click a picture” and that “the actor isn’t that good” so whatever I knew from the people in Delhi who’ve met actors; it was like you can’t touch them you can’t meet them so I would like to change that myth and be more assessable because it just takes five minutes; it may be slightly delay of time here and there but it makes that 10 people happy who come out there.

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