Exclusive: Sidharth Malhotra On the Failure of ‘Baar Baar Dekho’
The failure of ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ has made Sidharth Malhotra more conscious of his future.
Though Sidharth Malhotra is only 6 films old he has forged his own place in Bollywood. His latest release Baar Baar Dekho has under performed at the box office. But the actor is in no way discouraged or daunted.
Q: You and Katrina promoted Baar Baar Dekho with a vengeance. A sense of disappointment at its box office outcome?
Sidharth Malhotra: You definitely question yourself when so much hard work is not rewarded. I heard a very interesting quote on marketing. ‘Marketing is like God. If you believe in it it works for you. Even if you don’t believe in it, you still hope it works for me’. Nobody knows why so much marketing is done for our movies.
Q. The fact is, audiences decide the fate of a film on the basis of the first trailer?
I am not in a position as yet where I can decide what works and what doesn’t work. I just have to go by the wisdom of those who know better. We are all learning as we go along. It’s an ongoing process.
Q. After six films how much of an insider do you feel like in Bollywood?
Sidharth: Well, I’m more comfortable now than I was earlier. But I’ve always felt welcomed in this film industry. So when you say ‘I feel like an insider’, I first need to know what an outsider in this industry feels like. I’ve never been surrounded by too many people. So in that sense, I’ve not really sought a wide acceptance. But whomsoever I’ve met and worked with, they’ve been very warm. Otherwise I am consumed by my own self.
Q. You mean you enjoy your own company?
Sidharth: Maybe. But I never feel like an outsider with the people I work with. We are all thorough professionals and we are all insiders when working together. But we don’t share that kind of bonding which I keep hearing about from Karan Johar in the earlier days when the whole film industry bonded. Woh culture hi badal gaya.
Q. You’ve made very unusual choices as an actor so far. Is there a sense of disappointment when your choice fails you?
Sidharth: I never question my choices. I only question certain methods and processes in the movie-making business. I think after failures I’ve come out more experienced and slightly wiser.
Q. What has the failure of Baar Baar Dekho taught you?
Sidharth: For example, one must take advice on how a film is shaping up from those who have more experience. When I heard the script for Baar Baar Dekho it was one of the most exciting ideas I had come across. What a lovely thought! The heart was in the right place.
Q. What else have you taken away from the way Baar Baar Dekho was received?
The experience has made me more conscious of my future. Had Baar Baar Dekho worked better maybe I wouldn’t be so careful with the modalities of making a film. But I am still going to choose only those scripts that I believe in. I stand by my choices. If I like a script and a role it doesn’t matter how many other actors are there or how many scenes I have. All the films that I’ve done so far tell stories that I want to tell.
Q. So if, like your character in Baar Baar Dekho, you had the chance to go into the future and not do the film, what would you do?
Sidharth: I’d still do the film. But maybe differently. I still think it has great potential. Now it’s already done. So no point in thinking of what can or cannot be fixed.
Q. You’ve a huge fan following among women. Is that a strategy to bring the entire family into the theatre?
Sidharth: Ha, no strategy. I am just doing the films which have a story to tell that I believe in. I grew up watching only the big stories on screen. In our home in Delhi, we were not regular movie-goers. We were in no way connected to the movie industry. Our connection to the industry was the Bollywood blockbusters. I saw my mother watching the film of Mr Yash Chopra and Mr Amitabh Bachchan. And I grew up in the Shah Rukh Khan era.
Q. Now you are hobnobbing with them?
Sidharth: Yes, now I am part of that dream world. I’ve so much to be grateful and happy about. So even if I feel a film not working for me is a setback, I look back with a sense of wonder. And then I am okay. I grew up in South Delhi, never thought I’d be a part of the film industry.
Q. When did you decide you want to be an actor?
Sidharth: Initially when I came to Mumbai, I tried my luck as an actor. I met Mr Anubhav Sinha. He was going to make a film in collaboration with Adlabs. But that didn’t work out. Mr Sinha got busy with Ra.One. After that I questioned my decision to be an actor. My parents in Delhi wondered what I was doing with my life. Yahan lakhon log aate hain actor banne ke liye. So I started assisting Karan Johar on My Name Is Khan. Everyone from Abhishek Burman, Puneet Malhotra etc assisting at Dharma wanted to be directors. At that time I never thought Karan would launch me as an actor. Life has a funny way of working out for you.
Q. How did you react when after Student Of The Year people compared you with the early Mr Bachchan?
I still don’t know how to react to that. It’s taken Mr Bachchan years and years to get where he is. Such talk got even more intense when I did Ek Villain. Maybe because I was playing someone older than I am and very troubled by life.
Q. Whether it is Katrina, Aishwarya or you or any good looking actor, people have a problem taking their talent seriously?
Sidharth: (laughs) I’ve been lucky. I’ve been praised for my work. Yes, for Baar Baar Dekho there were uncharitable remarks. I guess that happens when a film doesn’t work. We as people thrive on negativity. When a new filmmaker like Nitya Mehra (director of Baar Baar Dekho) is discouraged, other new filmmakers become wary of trying something different.
Q. So you stand by the film?
Maybe we failed. But at least we tried something new. Now I know if I meet a first-time director I’ll be wary. Or if I write a script I’ll be thinking anxiously about whether it works for me as a member of the audience.
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