He started off in 2012 with Student Of The Year. Since then, Delhi boy Sidharth Malhotra has been very careful as far as his film choices are concerned. The 30-year-old actor admits that he wants to do “unique and exciting” work. Here, he opens up about his new films, working with Katrina Kaif, and his rumoured girlfriend, Alia Bhatt.
When you were recently asked about Alia, you said that actors are “professional liars”. What did you mean?
I think all actors are professional liars. Someone asked me, “Are you seeing Alia?” So, I said, “Of course, I am. I have seen so much of her while shooting in Coonoor with her. We had a great time and shot [together] after many years.” But aren’t actors professionally lying on screen all the time? If I kill a person in Ek Villain (2014), I didn’t kill him for real. I become a “professional liar” in reality when I talk about my personal life.
A report recently said that Alia cried after watching her ‘boyfriend’ Sidharth’s new film…
Where has this news come out? I have no clue. Yes, she was at the screening. And she did feel bad during the climax scene — she told me it was her favourite — and felt the pain when I broke my shoulder. I am taking it as a compliment that I could make somebody feel the pain while I was ‘lying’ on screen.
Is the ‘boyfriend’ part also true?
There’s truth to her crying part, but there’s no truth to the boyfriend part (smiles). I just know that she came for the screening, she enjoyed it, and cried at the end.
Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra at an event in Mumbai.
After a tough role in your latest release, you are going back to playing softer characters in your upcoming films. Do you think that’s your zone?
I don’t know yet. I think my next two films will decide how things pan out. Not just the audience, you have to figure yourself out too — what you are doing and are capable of.
Your next film is with Katrina.
I am very excited about working with her. We have been doing a lot of readings and workshops. Since it’s a love story, a lot will depend on our chemistry. The film will have a long outdoor schedule; we should be done with the shoot by the end of this year. I am getting to play different ages in one love story in this movie, unlike my other film with Shakun Batra (director), which is a family drama.
You have confessed to being a fan of Kareena Kapoor Khan. Have you been an admirer of Katrina too?
Of course, at that time, I would watch her as an audience member. But, there’s no particular memory as such that I can think of.
What was the issue about you reportedly calling her ‘old’ in an interview?
I haven’t called her old. How can I say that when I am 30 myself? It was taken out of context. I said nothing of that sort.
Do you feel you have had fewer film releases as compared to others?
That might be true, or maybe I felt that this is the right way. Plus, I have no control over a film’s release. But I realise that these are my years to work [hard], be busy and be part of two-three films a year.
Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra pose for the lenses at Arjun Kapoor's birthday bash. (Photo: Yogen Shah)
Do you think you are experimenting too much and not playing safe?
I don’t know the definition of safe. I feel there’s a need for me to get into a project, which is unique and exciting. Maybe, that ends up looking experimental. If you want to stay safe, then this profession isn’t right for you. As long as my ‘experiments’ work, I am not complaining.
The trade feels that the next three-four years will be crucial for the young actors. Do you feel the pressure?
I am challenged by the kind of films I am doing. I have no control over what everyone else is doing, so there’s no point in spending energy on it. What I can control is my films and my performances. I’d like to grow. I don’t want to remain stagnant.
Doesn’t your family complain about you being too busy?
My family came down to Mumbai for my latest release, and spent five days here. But, even then, I could only be with them for a day, or early in the morning and late at night. They complained that they get less time with me. I told them that these are the years [to work]. They, too, realise it.
Your performance in your new film has been appreciated. Were you worried about working with veterans like Akshay Kumar and Jackie Shroff?
There’s a lot of anxiety that seeps in when you are working with big names. But what’s satisfactory is that when I did Student Of The Year or Hasee Toh Phasee (2014), no one expected that in three years, I will venture into a different zone. And it also feels great to see the audience’s reaction, which I also witnessed firsthand when I went to the theatres.