Looks like the quintessential daddy of Bollywood has now graduated to playing the granddaddy. But Anupam Kher, who at 28 played the character of a man double his age in Saaransh, isn't too troubled by the fact that he's never been looked at as a hero in the traditional sense. He's just happy that he's managed to do films that he's proud of. With three recent releases, Anupam does some filmy gupshup with CS:
Who: Anupam Kher
What: Talking about playing older characters in his films
Good ol' days
I don't have any issues blowing my own trumpet, because I know that I work in an industry where that's a requirement. But the truth is that not many actors can boast of having done films of so many different genres. When I entered the film industry at 28, I was a beggar and not a chooser that I would kick up a fuss about playing an older hero. And my theatre background gave me a professional outlook towards my job. I'm glad that Saaransh happened to be my first film, because it has given me work all these 27 years.
Hum mein hai hero
I might not be the typical hero who can dance around trees, but I consider myself the hero of all my films. It is ridiculous that in India we categorise our actors as heroes, villains, comedians, etc. In Hollywood, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery are all regarded as heroes, even though they are older in years. An actor is an actor. It's your thinking that can make you feel smaller. Out of the 230 films that I've done, I'm proud of at least 60 of them. I feel like the tallest man on earth.
Now when I watch my old films, I tell myself that I could have done a better job. But, I'm still kind to myself and not overly critical. I enjoy the process of maturing as a person and as an actor. You try to correct people these days and they'll very conveniently tell you, 'I am like this only.' But I don't endorse this philosophy because I believe that there's always a possibility of growth and change.
I like watching films, but I don't watch too many of my own films. And I don't get jittery before my releases. I guess that's because it's the lead actors who have to worry about their market going up and down, and not us so much. I'm just happy if I do a film well. As a viewer, it's the storyline that appeals to me. You can't cheat in cinema, there has to be a heart connection. And the viewer is too smart to be conned by a shrewd director. After all, he doesn't depend on films for his entertainment anymore.
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