Sikandar Kher on Aarya 2: 'As long as I'm acting, playing lead isn't a priority; look at Daulat, it's a beautiful character'
“I am lucky to have been born in a house where people are successful actors, it was not in my hands. Yes, I know almost everyone in the industry as I’ve grown up in front of them. But getting work has nothing to do with being a star kid,” Sikandar Kher says.
“Congratulations for being nominated for the International Emmy Award for Aarya,” I started with the obvious. “It’s a huge honour for all of us. I feel blessed and proud to be a part of such a series. I am looking forward to Season 2,” says Sikandar Kher who essays the character of Daulat, the right-hand man of Aarya’s father Zorawar, and a good friend and ally of Aarya.
“It has been one of the most difficult roles I’ve played till now. Daulat doesn’t say much, and I didn’t have the crutch of dialogues. And to be silent and still narrate the emotions was not an easy task. I had to find a way out to make my presence felt with my expressions. It was a challenge with every new scene, and it kept me excited. Of course, our directors and the workshops we did helped,” Sikandar explains while talking about how difficult was to play Daulat.
Sikandar asserts that good things come to those who wait. The 40-year-old actor admits that he was not the first choice for the character, but bagged the part because of a powerful audition. He adds casting director Abhimanyu Ray took his audition, and director Ram Madhvani liked it. “Anything successful will change anyone’s life. Aarya has helped me, and people appreciated my work.”
There is something about director Ram Madhvani where he seems to extract these fantastic performances from actors he works with. Sikandar elaborates, “I’ve learned a lot while working with Ram sir. His style of shooting is also just amazing. There is no action, there is no cut. We don’t cut at close and then go wide, it is all just one shot. The way these guys shoot just helps you stay in character, and the rest is up to them how they capture you. We don’t know where the camera is or what it’s capturing. And it’s not an individual process, it’s a process of the entire team of people – the directors, the DOPs, the editors, and the sound.”
Sikandar believes though he played a gangster in the show, him getting stereotyped is only a remote possibility. “It all depends. I have played various characters so far, all different from one another. However, if I’ll get to play a role of a gangster or a cop again, typecasting is not possible as every character is different, they have different stories. No two people are the same.”
Sikandar agrees that getting a foothold in the industry is difficult, but the biggest plus is that real talent is recognised and given a chance. However, you have to be patient for your turn, and must work hard with the same fire.
“As long as I am acting, playing a lead is not a priority. Look at Daulat, his part is beautiful.
We learn the most during bad times but I reminded myself every time that I have to get things going. My mantra is to just work hard.”
For the unversed, Sikandar is the son of Bollywood actress Kirron Kher and the stepson of actor Anupam Kher. However, their stardom doesn’t bother him. He tells us, “I never felt any burden of being a star kid. I can’t compare myself with Anupam Kher and Kirron Kher. They are on top of their game. If I start taking pressure, I’ll finish my career. They have done their own thing, and I am also working hard to make a name.”
While talking about nepotism in the industry, Sikandar says, “It exists everywhere – a doctor’s son will be a doctor; a writer’s kid will find interest in writing. Let me tell you, I am lucky to have been born in a house where people are successful actors, it was not in my hands. Yes, I know almost everyone in the industry as I’ve grown up in front of them. However, when I needed work, I called them, asked for their time, auditioned for every character I’ve done so far. It might have been easy for me to approach them and go to their office when thousands of people who want to be an actor are not able to do so. But, getting work has nothing to do with being a star kid.”
He adds, “Why would anyone waste their money if I am not good? It’s a business, after all. I used to ask for 10 minutes to show my three-minute story. But yes, this is a fact that it was easier for me to reach there and get time. I have got that opportunity but those meetings didn’t give me work every time.”
Sikandar feels that OTT platforms are a game-changer. “There is employment for so many people, you can try so many things. It's not just employment for actors, but also writers, directors, cameramen, all technicians, crew, etc. Actors are getting the chance to showcase their talent.”
Aarya Season 2 will premiere on Disney+ Hotstar this Friday on 10 December.
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