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Anupam Kher: My competition is with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino

With 428 films to his credit, Anupam Kher says he is not satisfied as an actor and wants to have a career like Hollywood legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.

Anupam Kher and Robert De Niro
Anupam Kher and Robert De Niro

The 59-year-old 'Baby' actor, who was in the capital to attend a session with the students of National Institute of Drama (NSD), said he always keeps a check on De Niro and Pacino's films.

"My competition is not with Bollywood actors. I compete with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. I always check what they are doing...," said Kher, who worked with De Niro in David O Russell's 'Silver Linings Playbook'.

The NSD graduate recalled his days in the theatre college and said he always considered his batch mates -- Anang Desai and Satish Kaushik -- more as "enemies" than friends.

"As a student, one should be hungry, lonely and frustrated to learn. Students, who come here, often get busy in making friends and building relationships.

"When I joined NSD, Anang Desai and Satish Kaushik were my friends but I always considered them my enemies because we all will be competing for one role," Kher said.

The actor got his first break in Mahesh Bhatt's 'Saaransh', where he played a character beyond his years. His stellar performance as retired middle class Maharashtrian man grieving the death of his son won him his first Filmfare best actor award. It was also India's official entry to the Oscars.

"When I did the iconic scene of me getting the news of my son's death and I had to perform the last rites, there was only one thing in my mind.

"I was thinking continuously that if I don't perform well then my career will have a full stop and I have to go back to Shimla. While I was thinking of that, I gradually became emotional and gave my best shot in one cut," he said.

Kher, whose acting school completed 10 years, is also planning to teach the NSD students. "I will definitely come to take classes. I love teaching because I feel teaching and acting are the two professions where a teacher gets to learn everyday. I feel I am a better teacher than actor," he said.

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