Sidharth Malhotra first entered the tinsel town as Karan Johar's protege, making his Bollywood debut with the high school musical 'Student Of The Year'. His dashing looks and heart-melting smile left millions of girls swooning over him.
What followed next was a light frothy role in 'Hasee Toh Phasee' before the actor took a 360 degree turn and surprised us once again with his portrayal of an 'angry young man' in 'Ek Villain' and 'Brothers'. He is back again in the 'happy' zone with 'Kapoor & Sons' where he is sharing screen space with Alia Bhatt and Fawad Khan.
With 'Kapoor & Sons' hitting the silver screens this Friday, the handsome boy gets candid about his choices of films, his Hollywood dreams and of course Alia Bhatt.
Excerpts from the conversation-
Q. You are romancing Alia (Bhatt) once again in 'Kapoor & Sons'. What do you have to say about it?
A. It's a good thing that they've seen the chemistry on screen which is most important. It was a lot of fun working with her again. We have become more matured actors. Alia's Hindi has become better so she can improvise now. She used to struggle before. She has great command over a scene and emotions so we could play more with that. We were so nervous during 'Student Of The Year' that we couldn't enjoy the process then.
Q. Leaving 'Hasee Toh Phasee' you have done all two hero films. Why?
A. I don't look at it like a two hero or ensemble. I look at a good or bad story. You can't be good in a bad film. So I would rather choose good films even if it's a small part. But yeah, this isn't a conscious effort. I have two releases which are totally solo. 'Baar Baar Dekho' has a lot of me (only me actually) and then an action film produced by Fox with a lot of me. I have co-incidentally done two brother-brother movies also back-to-back. So now I'm happy my next has only me romancing Katrina.
Q. Akshay had said that 'Brothers' is ahead of its time and will get its status due after a few years. Do you agree with him?
A. Once it's out, we don't know what it's future is going to be. As actors, we have to move on from next film to the other. Hence I've not given it so much thought to be honest. Maybe. After watching trailer, people come expecting there'll be action, but maybe they weren't prepared for the emotions it had. When somebody sees the movie with a clean mind after 3 years, they might just be prepared.
Q. It was also your biggest flop and right after your biggest hit 'Ek Villain'. So how does it feel?
A. You can say hit or flop by money or perception aspect. 'Brothers' did not lose money as such. The investment wasn't double, but we recovered the cost. Yes we did lose out in perception like I just mentioned. People thought that it would be an action masala film but it had lot of intensity. As a film-maker, I still feel Karan Malhotra is a great director. He has a handle on showing heroism like no other. He's like Subhash Ghai from a few years back. This is also a learning. I learnt that storytelling can matter. I still back the film. It was something new for me.
Q. You've also become a better dancer...
A. It took me a while to get into that zone and get my own style. Every actor takes a while for that. I've got the longest arms and limbs in the industry so it is tough and takes time. I'll be dancing much more in a song from 'Baar Baar Dekho'.
Q. How was your bonding with Fawad and Alia?
A. It was very good. We were in Coonnoor for 40 days, where there are very few restaurants. So we had to find entertainment, because of which I started playing cricket and dumb-charades with the crew. I used to keep going to Fawad's room, after which we would start playing poker which I had just learnt. I've had maximum fun also because of our director Shakun Batra, who kept us all at ease. There was no kind of politics and all were thorough professionals. Shakun, Fawad and Jeff (cameraman) used to play the guitar for entertainment. We enjoyed so much that I threw a party for the whole team in the house which you see with big bonfire and dances.
Q. You are replacing Hrithik Roshan in 'Bang Bang'. Does it add more responsibility?
A. It’s not entirely a sequel. We have still not titled the film. It is an action film with Fox. We have not yet titled it but let’s see and it has nothing to do with first 'Bang Bang'! I am going to start shooting this year after this film.
Q. Was it easier working with Rishi Kapoor this time?
A. Although he treated us like students only, he's pushing us left right. He loved Fawad because he's from Pakistan. He liked Jeff and Greg who were not from India either. He used to treat us like kids because we're from Bollywood. I was vegetarian at that time and he kept eating non veg in his Punjabi food. But it was great. I got to see a different side of him. I remember we taught him Twitter at that time. He thought people get tagged only by writing names. He was very sweet and much lighter this time. Also, he's so hard-working at this age. Hats off to him for sitting in the make-up room for 5 hours.
Q. You have an edgy and rugged look. So any plans of playing a villain?
A. Why not? It'd be very interesting. I'd like to play a negative and double role.
Q. How far would you go to play such a character?
A. First you try that. For me 'Ek Villain' was testing waters - if it would work or no. Now that I've got great response to that, if somebody gives me to play something like an obsessive murderer or something like 'Darr', it'd be great to try that again.
Q. Whose idea was the house party song?
A. It was the first song that we shot (Chull) and that was Shakun's idea of shooting an item song. It's an amazing track. Earlier Shakun was a bit sceptical whether the song would fit in the film. I convinced him that it's a hit song and that it should be a part of the movie.
Q. Did you have house parties?
A. I used to have birthday parties at 17-18. I was obsessed with my big brother's water-bed within 2 years and my friends loved to sit on it on the terrace too.
Q. How's the bromance been between you and Fawad? Did you see his TV shows before?
A. No I haven't seen his serials. I met him only on the sets of this film. We did a reading earlier and I find him extremely easy to work with. He's someone who's very professional, composed and a very giving actor. He's very involved and open to opinions. There's a scene where we brothers had to laugh like we were high, but none of us was getting it. This scene took 3 days. I was just so tired that I started abusing and then Fawad started laughing, because of which Shakun encouraged me to abuse more. That broke the ice.
Q. So Alia is the middle person...
A. No it's not a love triangle. We all have 20% stake in the film. In this, I'm not fighting for her.
Q. A lot of action movies would come by the time your next with Fox would be there...
A. That happens with every movie. Anyway, ours is not an out-and-out action film. It is action with slight humour. It's very real action and I'm training in combat for it.
Q. Has 'Kapoor & Sons' got you more closer to your family?
A. I have. In the future, I'm going to make at least 2 weeks plan with my family.
Q. Being an actor, there's a drawback in that too...
A. Time becomes very less, especially when my family isn't staying along. I do miss them and long for somebody to come home to. Right now my dog Oscar is the only person at my home.
Q. Tell us something about your role in 'Kapoor & Sons'
A. I've done 2 back-to-back very intense roles and slightly heroic kind of roles. This is a very regular, non-heroic kind of film and for a change, I'm playing the goofy one. Fawad's slightly mature and serious one, while I'm the little cranky, goofy, not-so-focused kind of boy.
Q. How do you choose your films?
A. I'm just hoping for good content. Good scripts are very rare here so I don't care if it's bromance or anything else. As long as I have a good script, I want to do that film. I don't want a library where I'm playing the lead, but the film is bad.
Q. We've heard you've been offered 'Ram Lakhan' remake. What is happening to that?
A. I haven't been offered that.
Q. And you are also doing a film with Deepika?
A. Am I? But I want to work with both Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma.
Q. You have an international look and baritone voice. So have you been approached to work there?
A. Not approached so far, but it'd be very exciting.
Q. Any Hollywood actors you'd like to work with?
A. Jennifer Lawrence.
Q. Any particular genre you want to work in Hollywood?
A. Not really thought about it. If I get a script and director, then will think. It's too early and we need to first focus on what we have here and not take it for granted. Who knows we might get the same writers for us here.
Q. Was it the script or concept of experimenting the reason for you to choose 'Baar Baar Dekho'?
A. It's the love story which attracted me. It's just a fictitious story of what happens to a man who got the opportunity to see his whole journey. This is somewhere between being funny and fictitious. It's a love story for the sensibilities of Excel for the first time. I got an opportunity to play 18-60 year old. I was approached before Katrina.
Q. Was there a scene in 'Kapoor & Sons' where you felt that this is you and your brother in real life?
A. Oh yeah. When we come back and share the same room and bed after years and the abusive language I was talking about. I've done that with my brother so many times. We had so much fun.