Super Sid

Bollywood hunk Sidharth Malhotra tells Fariha Sabir all about Kapoor & Sons

Posted: 20.03.16

Tall, dark and handsome, with a sexy baritone voice - Sidharth Malhotra fits the bill of Bollywood heartthrob impeccably well, so it’s no wonder that he’s got all the ladies (including the Asiana girls) going ga ga over the hottie. Which is why we have all been eagerly anticipating his latest release Kapoor & Sons, directed by Shakun Batra and starring alongside a stellar cast including Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt and Rishi Kapoor. Chatting exclusively to, read on to find out how Sidharth puts the much awaited movie into context, spills the beans on some hilarious behind the scenes candid memories, how he reacts at the mention of Alia and shares what his chuddy-wearing superhero persona would be. Love Sid? You’re about to fall in love with him a little more…

Can you tell us more about your character Arjun?
I’m playing Arjun Kapoor, he is the youngest in the family and is trying to be a writer but has not been so successful. Sometimes, the youngest tries different things, so he’s abit of a drifter, where he’s doing part time jobs separately because his book has not been published. His parents sometimes rub it in, about how he’s not so successful and always give his elder brother’s example, who is Fawad. He is abit childlike and feels he does not get so much attention, being the youngest, so basically he is not the household favourite. He has a nice, light hearted, goofy side to him. For a change, I’m playing the funny guy!

Are there any similarities between you and Arjun?
Lots! I think my family is similar to the Kapoors, I also come from a family of four, I also have an older brother and I grew up with my Daadi, where in the movie, we have our Daadu played by Rishi Kapoor. Obviously, my Daadi was not as mad and senile as his character and didn’t ask us to do half the funny, debauched things that he tells us to do! Shakun wanted for us all to put a lot of ourselves into the character, so I would say he’s pretty close to who I am in real life with my family. I am the youngest one, so I would be throwing tantrums here and there whilst I was growing up. I’ve experienced similar dynamics - I’ve grown up with an older brother, and here Fawad is playing my older brother, so I understand what we really mean when we hit eachother in a fight, like the next day, you could be totally fine with it, sometimes we’ll just do it for fun – so I could relate to all the madness that brothers go through.

Were you the neglected one or the favourite in your own family?
I was the black sheep whilst growing up, as I was not so keen on studies or educating myself in that sense – I didn’t feel I was ready to be educated. My parents always used to tell me, look at your brother, he’s done an MBA, why don’t you do something like him. But they’re not complaining anymore!

How was it working with Fawad Khan for the first time – how did you bond as brothers?
When he came to Mumbai, that was the first time I met him before the film started and I decided to take him out with Shakun. I think from the first dinner together, it was very easy making conversation – we all started talking about how we got into the movie industry, we all have had a similar middle class upbringing, we’re all from the outside. On the third day of shoot, there is a very interesting scene where Fawad and I are shown to be inebriated by some chemical and as a result, we are laughing lots. We were finding it difficult to do that, so to make him laugh, I just started abusing the s*it out of him in Hindi, Punjabi and everything that I knew and he went mad, started giggling and laughing! Shakun was really happy, he was like yeah take it all out on him, abuse him more! I think from that day, our inhibitions were out and we could really just be ourselves and it really broke the ice. He is a very easygoing guy, very talented actor and open to suggestions in rehearsals. It was extremely comfortable working with him and we really got along. 

This is not the first time you have played a brother to a fellow heartthrob – first Akshay Kumar in Brothers, now Fawad. How comfortable are you sharing on screen space with a big male star?
I feel I have become the in-house brother! But the previous film was all about hatred, Kapoor & Sons is more about loving your brother, so they are different zones. Fawad is playing more of a brother who is a friend in a way, because there is less of an age difference. With Akshay sir, it was very older brother, protective and far more intense. I think that’s a very old school point of view to see two or three leads in a film – I just want to be part of a good film. I’d rather have a small bit in a good story, than do a big role in a film I’m not keen on. I truly believed in the narrative and I’m very happy to have this small part in this very endearing family film. There are no such regrets, as it’s not anybody’s film – there are so many characters and we all have a very small stake to play in a very wonderful story. 

This is the second time you’ve had to share Alia on screen with a third wheel – if you had to woo her over another man, how would you do that?
(Hesitation…) Ooh. I don’t know. I think with Alia, it’s just some kind of energy. I think more recently, it depends on what kind of mood she’s in, whether she wants to be entertained or what, as she is pretty moody! But I think what she is looking for really is dimension, so I don’t know what if there is just one aspect to woo her…I don’t know! I don’t know what would work with her I’ve never really tried to do one thing to woo somebody. I think with her…it just comes naturally. The photoshoot we did for Vogue, everyone was saying wow there’s so much chemistry, but I gave her all the credit – you have an amazing looking girl, posing on the beach, you naturally start posing like a man, by sucking your stomach in, chest out! 

What’s the most ridiculous rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
That I was born in Surat and I’m Manish Malhotra’s nephew. That’s quite weird. People are still asking me that, even after five years!

The film industry has become all about 6 pack, modelesque bodies, its basically essential to have a great body in order to be a successful actor. What’s your opinion on this?
I think it’s subjective to the project now. I personally would not like to be appreciated just for my physicality, there has to be more than what meets the eye. Eventually, our performance should speak for itself. A film like Brothers, I had to gain and look bulky, so I didn’t have to look like a six-pack guy, because that’s the kind of sport I was portraying, so I did that. In this film, there are no such body shots, because Arjun is a writer and I had to change my physicality to portray the character who is not so focused or disciplined to go to the gym. More than having a physique, adaptability is what makes a good actor - who adapts to each film.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Oh wow! Hopefully doing the biggest blockbusters in the industry, some very interesting, different, convincing roles, maybe producing movies. I think there’s so much to do – I’m at a very early stage of my career, there are so many different shades I have not played, maybe play a negative role, a double role, a super hero. I’ve got loads on my wishlist! 

What would your superhero name be?
Well that is one tricky thing in India, none of the superhero names sound cool in Hindi, like Krrish! So we’d have to be really clever about it. Maybe Super Sid? Let’s see where he wears his chuddies, outside or inside? (Or maybe just chuddies…!)

Kapoor & Sons is in cinemas worldwide now.

Interview by Fariha Sabir

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