Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sidhant Gupta

“Acting is just the sensibility to portray the experiences of life”

By Ankita R. Kanabar

(This interview has been published in the March 7, 2015 issue of Super Cinema)

Aren’t newcomers like a breath of fresh air sometimes? With their newer ideas, lots of positivity, enthusiasm filled to the brim and unending passion for their craft – they’re a complete delight to speak to. That’s just how one can describe Sidhant Gupta, whose film ‘Badmashiyaan’ has recently hit the marquee. He read the script of the film 50 times before the shoot, and also ended up remembering his co-actors’ dialogues. Now that’s some kind of a dedication!
In a freewheeling chat, the newbie talks all about this film and his journey so far…

When you read the script of ‘Badmashiyaan’, what did you think of it and your character?
What I thought is that though it’s a romantic comedy, it’s not the usual girl-meets-guy, falls in love kind of a regular film. The script was actually very relatable and funny. My character is someone loves very purely. The interesting part was, I had to sit with the director and we had a lot of brainstorming sessions as to how I would say my lines. That’s when you realise that there are so many things one has inside this small brain. I had to refresh all the memories of my teenage years because this kind of love is very pure and unconditional, which is very difficult to feel once we grow up, and become a bit materialistic in life.

On one hand, your character has this romantic side while you also had to display your comic timing. How did you go about it?
I love comedy. Comedy and romance, basically emotions, form my favourite part of acting and thankfully, I got to do both in the film. My way of preparing is different. Before we started shooting I read the script at least 50 times. This is a slow process, but it’s just my way of preparing because every time you read the script, you discover a new aspect. You see every line and keep getting ideas and eventually recollect instances where you’ve gone through something similar in real life. That’s just how you can make that character your own.

But then laughter and crying being such raw emotions, most actors find it challenging. Despite being relatively new, you’re saying that’s your favourite part….
I would say that these emotions come effortlessly to me, because of the experiences I have had in life. I have laughed a lot in my life. At the same time, I’m very emotional. So, I can relate to it. I feel, acting is the sensibility to portray the experiences of life. Plus, my acting course really transformed me. That’s when I realised, I cannot do anything better in life than act. It just comes naturally to me.

For this film obviously, your preparation included reading the script so many times. But generally, just to be an actor…what is the kind of training or preparations you’ve been through?
I believe that just the way singers do riyaaz everyday, actors also should act every day. Even if you don’t act for a month, it gets very difficult. You need to know your emotions and expressing those emotions in the right way requires riyaaz. Usually what I do is I have a book where I’ve written a lot of monologues which I enact. Then I also judge myself and how I should get better. I usually pick scenes from English films, translate them in Hindi and perform. On a day-to-day basis as well, you pick stuff from others. But then, when you’re working on a film and acting so many hours a day, it helps honing your skills, making you more confident.

Coming from a non-filmy background, how has your journey been so far?
It’s a lot of struggle if you come from a non-filmy background. But, I strongly believe that if you’re really good, nobody can stop you. I just kept honing my skills every day and thought that God has given me a good face, good enough height, but maintaining things is in my hands. I was mentally prepared for the fact that, being fit, or working on my dancing skills, and just acting each day, should be my lifestyle itself, because eventually, you have to come as a package. Otherwise there’s no place for you here. Just a good face doesn’t do anything, I feel. One thing I love about acting is that there’s no end to learning, and there’s no end to making yourself proud of you. These are the two important things which are keeping me going.

And is there something you don’t like about being here?
I think sometimes it’s easier to get caught in the stereotypes. You’re expected to behave a certain way. I would talk to someone if I feel like, but otherwise, you can’t be fake and entertain someone even if you don’t want to. People judge you by how you are with people, not knowing your life experiences. A lot of people ask me who is my idol, or who do I follow, or if I try to emula
 te Shah Rukh Khan, since I’m playing this guy in love, him being the king of romance. Obviously I’m a big fan and have grown up watching his films, but when I prepare for a role, I put my life experiences to get into that zone. Like I said, acting is all about that. Some actors do inspire you but you cannot become exactly like them. There’s a thin line between the two and people just need to understand that (smiles).

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