After a huge impact in Rang De Basanti, Siddharth has been busy with his South Indian assignments. He is back on Mumbai with a riotous role in David Dhawan's Chashme Buddoor.
"At the moment I'm doing films in four languages Tamil, Telugu, English and Hindi. That's damn exciting for an actor who always complains about the quality of work offered to him. Mera number aa gaya. I am in Mumbai when Mumbai wants me. Nothing substantial has been offered to me. When I am in Mumbai I am asked about my 6-pack. Every young actor in Bollywood has started looking the same. That's scary. The only way I get work in Mumbai is if the A-listers in Bollywood turn down films. I was the 17th actor approached for Rang De Basanti. I was probably the 17,000th option for Midnight's Children. I am lucky Deepa was in Mumbai long enough to hear about me," says Siddharth with brutal candour.
Siddharth plays the part that Ravi Bawsani had enacted in Sai Paranjpye's Chashme Buddoor.
"And would you believe it, Ravi Baswani and I went to the same college! Though he was much too senior for me to know him. But Ravi is very dear to me as an actor. I'm paying homage to him. My co-star Divyendu Sharma who is one of the most brilliant actors I've worked with, is also from the same college."
Siddharth thinks the two versions of Chashme Buddoor are a world apart. "I'd never dare to compare David's and Sai Paranjye's Chashme Buddoor. I didn't think of Sai's film even once. There's no connection between the two. It has been a very liberating experience for me. In Indian cinema, it's impossible to create a graph for a hero's character because the leading man does everything. The inconsistencies of the Indian film-hero are daunting. But I had great fun with my character in Chashme Buddoor. My friends have seen me having fun. But on screen I've never gone to this level of letting-go. I am not a director's actor. In India that is another way of saying the actor does nothing, just comes on the sets and asks, 'Character ka naam kya hai?' I've my own elaborate process of approaching a role. But with David and Deepa I surrendered completely. It would have otherwise been impossible to do two such contrasting roles simultaneously."
Siddharth says he did Chashme Buddoor for a lark. "David and I have been meaning to work together for a while. Though earlier projects didn't materialize we became friends. Luckily for me within six months I got to work with Deepa Mehta and David Dhawan. They are the two completely contrasting 'D' factors in my life. Both are so comfortable with the craft. I just had to go on both the sets and surrender myself to the director. While one was serious business the other was fun all the way."
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