Remember the very boy next door chap in Luck By Chance who plays the role of an assistant director and Farhan Akhtar’s roomie? Sid Makkar straight talks with Nikhil Taneja.
This seems like your second innings in Bollywood.
(Smiles) Yeah, I know. I debuted with Kis Kis ki Kismat... but only about five people saw it. I had to sit at home for the longest time. After theatre and TV happened, Luck by Chance and Straight followed.. and it’s all good now.
You’ve received pretty good comments for Straight though the movie got mixed reviews.
The priority is that the movie gets super reviews because the collections are important but yes, it feels awesome getting positive feedback. It’s humbling when someone you don’t know says you have a good future in cinema despite being from a non-film background.
How did you cultivate the Brit accent?
(Laughs) By watching Guy Ritchie movies! I didn’t want to play the role of a UK-born NRI with a Bombay accent. Since I played a singer in a rock band, I had to use cool, street lingo.. so the girls and (laughs) maybe the guys would be attracted to him.
You play a gay guy in the film. How did your wife react?
I never told her! I wanted it to be a surprise. She had a good laugh when she saw the movie. My parents enjoyed it too but (laughs), it took them a while to absorb that unka ladka screen par ‘gay’ ka role kar raha hai. The movies have come a long time after the last one, Offshore.
Yeah, that was an independent American film which happened through an audition. Every role so far has happened through auditions.
(Chuckles) I’m just waiting for a time when someone calls me and says, “Sid, we want you as the lead actor of this 100 crore project.. you’re right for the part.” I hope that happens.
How did a Mumbai boy, studying in the US, end up in the movies?
I went to the US because I didn’t know what to do in life. At one point, I locked myself up for five days and didn’t talk to anyone. That’s when I decided I wanted to earn my living doing something that made me happy. It was tough.. I didn’t earn a single rupee for a while. Everyone thought I was a fool to give up a steady job in the States. Mum didn’t talk to me for months. She thought, “Mera beta paagal ho gaya hai.. America se phone karta hai aur kehta hai mujhe actor banna hai.” Dad was supportive and that helped. He said, “If you’ve decided this, come what may.. you can’t quit.” And you know what, in five years, I’ve never thought of quitting.
Were you reluctant to do TV?
I wasn’t interested in TV.. which was very naïve of me. I got offers after my play, Lift Kara De, opened. I quoted an exorbitant sum to see whether they really wanted me. Two out of three agreed! I wouldn’t have paid myself that much! That’s how Betiyaan happened.. and then Mere Apne, which I’m most proud of.
And then Arjun happened..
(Chuckles) You know, I had decided not to do TV any more because my goal was to do movies. But Balaji Telefilms made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I mean to survive, you need money.. right?
It must’ve been disappointing when Kahaani Hamaaray Mahabharat ki shut down.
A bit.. because everyone loves Arjun. I’d worked hard because I didn’t want to be called Kalyug ka Arjun. I worked with Balaji for the first time and it was the most relaxed shoot of my life.
So what next? TV, theatre or films?
I haven’t closed my doors to TV. I’ll do shows if I get something interesting. (Chuckles) Or if I really need money and they are still ready to give me parts! I’ll be doing another play this year. Meanwhile, I’m emceeing the 200th show of Vagina Monologues. And good things are happening in films. Luck by Chance really helped. I haven’t signed anything yet but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.