Gully Boy breakout Siddhant Chaturvedi reveals how Zoya Akhtar discovered him

Gully Boy’s breakout star, Bollywood debutant Siddhant Chaturvedi, recalls the story of how director Zoya Akhtar spotted him.
Siddhant Chaturvedi plays MC Sher in Gully Boy.
Siddhant Chaturvedi plays MC Sher in Gully Boy.
Updated on Feb 17, 2019 05:34 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

Bollywood debutant actor Siddhant Chaturvedi, who plays MC Sher in the hit Gully Boy, has spoken about how he was discovered by director Zoya Akhtar.

In an interview to Firstpost, the first-time actor recalled when he was approached by Zoya, who strongly advised him to audition for the film. “The film had already started. They were casting for the film, I didn’t know anything about it,” he said. Zoya spotted him dancing at the success party of Inside Edge (an Amazon Prime show), and approached him and asked, “Who are you?”

 

“I was like, ‘I’m Siddhant’,” he continued. Zoya then asked him if he’d audition for Gully Boy, and when Siddhant said he hadn’t, she suggested that he should - in fact, she called him for an audition the very next day. He was told to check out the music of rappers like Divine and Naezy - it is said that Gully Boy is partially based on their lives - and to memorise a rap song for the audition.

Siddhant was ‘blown away by their talent’ but couldn’t imagine memorising one of their raps. That’s when he realised that he could relate to a lot of themes that Divine and Naezy were rapping about. “I had my own struggle,” he said, and they had their own struggles. So Siddhant decided to stay up all night and write his own, personal rap song.

He was awoken by a call from an unknown number the very next day. “Hi, this is Zoya Akhtar,” he heard on the other end. That’s when Zoya told him that she’d loved his audition and was going to send over the script of Gully Boy to him, and if he liked it, they would love to have him on board.

Siddhant also said that his character - a mentor of sorts for Ranveer Singh’s Murad - isn’t based on Naezy or Divine, but is an amalgamation of many rappers.

Also read: Will Smith is blown away by Ranveer Singh in Gully Boy, posts Instagram video. Watch here

His performance in the film has been considered outstanding. The Hindustan Times review called it ‘the film’s top performance’ and noted, “The knockout punch comes from MC Sher. With a name that means both big cat and couplet, Sher is played by Siddhant Chaturvedi with natural, easy ferocity.”

Gully Boy also stars Alia Bhatt, Kalki Koechlin and others. The film has received unanimous praise and has made Rs 51.15 crore at the domestic box office.

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