Never Asked My Parents to Help Me Get a Film: Sikandar Kher

Sikandar Kher talks about how he bagged his debut film easily but spent years without work.

Updated22 Jul 2020, 11:51 AM IST
4 min read

Sikandar Kher was recently seen essaying the role of Daulat in Ram Madhvani's Aarya. The web series, described as a slow-burn by many, received appreciation for the stellar performances. Talking to The Quint Sikandar Kher said, "Daulat was the most difficult part I have played and I could see while shooting I was looking for a dialogue as a crutch because most things about Daulat happened through silences".

The actor also spoke about nepotism in the film industry, his failed auditions, not discussing politics with his parents and his 'Kher Saab' videos on Instagram.

Which scenes did you audition for Aarya?

Sikandar Kher: The scene where I am teaching Adi how to fight. “Aaja main tujhe Karate sikhata hoon,” the one where he hears the bike. It was one of the toughest roles that I had to play. For me personally...I felt that on set also, I literally started feeling that I didn’t have the crutch of dialogue. I started seeing the dialogue as a crutch. There’s a lot of stuff that is happening that goes through silences.

A lot of the conversation that is surrounding us on social media is this whole debate of insider and outsider. I want to ask you that this is a general conception people have that if there’s someone from a film family or a star’s daughter or son you tend to get an easy launch. How did your first role come to you? Was it easy?

Sikandar Kher: Yeah, my first role was easy. It was offered to me by Sanjay Gupta for Woodstock Villa. Basically, what you’re saying is, is there nepotism? Yes, there is nepotism, let’s not mince words about that. There’s nepotism everywhere. What would you want? You need an opportunity? It’s a different thing it didn’t do well. Then it’s different than the one after also didn’t do well because after that I started auditioning. Then I wasn’t working for a really long time. I wasn’t getting work. When you aren’t successful and your films are flopping…I mean RAW did decent business and Aarya is the first successful work that I have done in 13 years. I was following up, after a while you need work. I was calling people. I have a three-minute showreel on my computer right now which I would show and I would ask them for 10 minutes and leave in 9 minutes unless they asked me to sit longer. I wouldn’t WhatsApp them because WhatsApp has blue ticks, and I didn’t want them to feel obliged to respond. So I would send them an SMS. I have grown up here. Now the thing is I am not going to be apologetic about the fact that I have grown up here. I am not stealing someone’s work. I am not going to apologise about where I am born. That is luck.

Now, one thing is that I have grown up around them, they have seen me since I was a child and they are some of the biggest people in the industry today. They are busy. They are busy people. Even after I know them damn well, I would get a meeting after a month or two because they are busy people. Having said that I still got a meeting. People have come to Bombay…trillions…and they don’t even get a meeting. It’s a different thing that that meeting didn’t bear fruit. I am not going to complain about that. Nobody is going to put their money on you if you’re not good for business and why should they? But there are also some people from the industry who have not gotten a chance and there are some who got it, but they are successful people whoever they are, they had charm. Whoever we are talking about from the industry, there are some good actors, they are very charming people, that’s why they are stars. That is why someone can put money on them. You’re not going to put money on someone who is going to be lost.

But say if there’s a part that you probably heard of because you know you run in the same circle you could hear of a project being made. Have you ever asked your parents to put in a word for you?

Sikander Kher: Oh never, so embarrassing. They’ll be embarrassed and even I would be embarrassed. In my life, they have never spoken on my behalf. They would be embarrassed to ask for me and I would be embarrassed if they ever asked work for me, so I have never done that. In fact, we don’t even talk about movies, I only tell them when I have signed for a part. We don’t discuss scripts, we don’t discuss how to do a scene. Your mistake has to be your mistake, your success should be yours.

Watch the video to find out more.

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Published: 21 Jul 2020, 04:20 PM IST
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