We have to accept that we are outsiders in Bollywood, says actor Siddhant Behl
Delhi-born actor Siddhant Behl talks about trying to make a mark in the film industry, and reminisces his days in Delhi University.bollywood Updated: Jan 15, 2018 18:23 IST
“We have to accept that we are outsiders,” says Siddhant Behl, who was born in Delhi, and debuted in Bollywood with the film Jugni (2016). “Everyone moves to a new city, whether it’s Bombay (Mumbai) or anywhere else. There is no point cribbing about it, and nepotism also exists in every layer of every industry, not just in films. So, acceptance is very important. It’s the first step and then we have to find our way through that. It does take longer for an ‘outsider’ to make people realise that you are there. As an artist, one has to keep practising the craft,” says Behl, who is a popular theatre personality, too.
With the advent of digital platforms and small-budget films doing tremendously well, this is the best time to be in the film industry, according to Behl. “Indian cinema is going through a wonderful stage right now. Lots of corporates, individual producers have entered the industry and are in search of good talent. Jab se small-budget films aur digital media start hua hai, [Since the trend of small-budget films has begun] everyone talented has found work,” he says.
Talking about his acting journey, Behl shares it was quite surprising for everyone around him, for he “was always into sports and acting was not even my forte”. He says, “In the 90s, I would see actors — Govinda, Shah Rukh Khan, and Salman Khan — and get inspired to mouth their dialogues. Then, the introduction to theatre changed things. After my school, I bumped into NK Sharma’s Act One theatre group and joined him. Everyday I would leave for theatre classes at 3pm and come back at night. That was the first time I was introduced to the stage and I kinda got consumed.”
Theatre days became more intense when he joined Delhi University (DU). “DU is a different world altogether. The energy there is crazy. When I joined college, there was no active dramatics society. My friends and I thought of starting a society, and we started looking for a name.We discussed this with our convener, who told us that the college already has a society. It was registered 10-12 years back, called Ibtida. Tum wohi use kar lo,’ he said. It was only a couple of years back that I got to know that it was registered by director Imtiaz Ali. But, when we were in college, we thought that we founded the society! Woh hota hain hai na, Krishna ko kisi ne paida kiya aur kisi aur ne pala [Like Krishna was given birth by one and brought-up by another mother],” says the Hindu College alumnus.
As he starts talking about the good ol’ college days, he shares, “Hum Kamla Nagar bahut jaate the [We used to frequent Kamla Nagar a lot]. There used to be a Momo’s point, and we would go [there and] also gorge on chhole bhature at Shakti Nagar, and St. Stephen’s college cafeteria was our zone, too.”
Is there anything he misses after moving base to Mumbai? “Dilli ki sardi. Winter is my favourite season, and I love coming to Delhi [during this time], and dressing up in jackets and all. Yeh Mumbai mein toh ho nahi sakta, garmi itni hai wahan pe [This isn’t possible in Mumbai considering it’s so hot there]. Mujhe lag raha hai main Marathi ho gaya hoon, itni thand lag rahi hai [I think now I have become a Marathi because I’m feeling cold in this weather],” says the actor, who is in the Capital to attend his friend’s wedding.
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First Published: Jan 15, 2018 18:23 IST