What is the criteria while choosing celebs for your show, Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai?
Criteria to choosing celebs is people that I know, because in the first season I wanted to interview people whom I have known about but also people who are available because I was shooting the whole season in one go. I wanted to shoot in fifteen days all the episodes, so that I can move on. Plus, economically it was better. I didn’t want to make a platform out of it where people promote their films. So this show is exclusively about their lives. So, I am sure there is no fixed criteria. It was availability and my comfort level sometimes.
Why was SRK your choice for the opening episode of Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai?
SRK was an accidental choice for the opening episode. We shot him in the end. He was the last guest we shot. But I thought and the channel thought, it will be interesting to have him as the first guest and also the kind of things that he said on the show. Although he has been giving interviews for the last twenty years yet we all discovered that there are certain things which lot of people did not know.
What is the key element to a successful actor?
Key element to a successful actor is hard work and honesty, there is nothing else. You can survive only based on that. No amount of marketing can help… Of course the marketing can keep in news, but at the end of it, I think people go and watch your film and they decide wether you are so. I have seen ups and downs in the last thirty years but I have tried not to let it affect my work. That doesn’t mean that I have not done bad work but my intention and honest is seen even in my bad work. So I think there are no other rule books. If there was a rule book, everybody would have read that and become what they wanted to become.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learnt from your career till now?
The biggest lesson I have learnt from my career is that there is no alternate to honesty and hard work, number one. Number two, that you need to do your own work and leave rest to the world. Number three, that people come and go. And not let success go to your head because what goes up comes down in this industry. Because your success and your failure is very public, the world knows about it. Learn from your failures. I think that has been my biggest asset. That’s why my play Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai and infact the Anupam Kher Show-Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta hai is derived from my philosophy of life that failures can be celebrated and in every step of my life I have discovered, because the element of Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai is everybody’s life.
At this stage of your career, is there any particular actor you want to work with?
No, I am enjoying working with all kinds of actors because I keep reinventing myself as an actor. And the best thing that I did was to open my acting school because I am in touch with today’s actors who are learning here so that polishes me as an actor. And luckily, I am working with everybody. I am working from Aditya Roy Kapoor to Varun Dhawan to Devendu Sharma to Shahrukh Khan to Akshay Kumar… to everybody. As I always say, that now my competition is not with Boman Iranis and Pareshs of the world. My competition is straight with Varun Dhawan and Siddhartha and Arjun Kapoor because I don’t want ever to be told, ‘but this doesn’t work in today’s time’. That’s why I don’t want them to sort of… I mean I’ll run with them and if I don’t want to succeed, I will at least be parallel to them.
Coming to Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai play, is it really based on your life?
The play Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai is autobiographical. It’s absolutely 100 percent true. I did the 320th show in Nepal, in Kathmandu. It’s based on, not on my life; it’s based on my failures, only on my failures. I wanted to do something on optimism. You see when I was struggling actor what kept me going was autobiographies of lot of people. And the first half of everybody’s autobiography was what they were struggling, how they were trying to make it and what kept them going and every time I read that, I felt my life is nothing as compared to what they have gone through. And they became great people; I will also become a great person. So, when I did this show, The Anupam Kher Show-Kuchh Bhi Ho Sakta Hai I wanted to bring out that element, what is behind the successful person, what he has gone through, so that it’s aspirational for the rest of the world. So, yeah! The play is absolutely my life.
At some point you said that you want to enter politics. When do you think time will be ripe for that?
I have no idea. I am very happy with the creative work that I am doing. I wrote a book which became the bestseller...I am doing films, I am running a school. I may go for that, may be 10 yrs later. I keep the option open.
Tell us about your equation with your son Sikandar.
It’s a great relationship with Sikandar as I shared with SRK in DDLJ. He is a grown up guy now. I don’t believe in imposing on children, be it anybody. Children these days are smarter than we are. I am friendly with him and share a lot with him. Touchwood...it’s a greatest relationship a father and son can share.
What are your upcoming movies this year?
My recent release is ‘Singham Returns’. After that, on 19th, ‘Daawat-E-Ishq’ is releasing, I am very exciting about it. I think I have done a great job in that. After that is fascinating film ‘Ekkees Topon ki Salaami, then we have ‘The Shaukeens’, just started doing ‘Baby’ and then I will also do Sooraj barjatya’s ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. Some of them I don’t even remember.
In ‘The Shaukeens’ you played a dirty old man. Tell us something about that.
Yes, I am playing a dirty old man in that movie. The background of ‘The Shaukeens’ is that 3 old men are leeching after Lisa Haiden. It’s a great piece of acting from all 3 of us and Lisa has done a great job too. It’s more of a comedy film.
Which are your favourite actors and actresses from our younger generation?
Today’s generation is very competitive and focused. They are marketed very well so they are in the front of everybody’s eyes. I have worked with Ranbir, he is a very good actor. I have not worked with Kangana but she’s fantastic. I like Aditya Roy Kapur, Varun is good, Parineeti, Alia are fantastic. Newcomers doing 100 crore business means a great competition to the oldies.
Which is the most difficult character played by you till now?
So far ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara’ was the most difficult character I have played till date. I researched on Alzheimer disease. To play an Alzheimer patient you have to have vacant eyes. I used to go early in the morning to Juhu beach to get into the act and forget about the people. I just one wanted to feel one moment of that emotion where I don’t know who I was. It’s one of my good performances. But now every time I forget, I get jitters that O My God! First sign, Not to panic! Sit down! I will not research on something like this ever.
Any message for your followers?
It’s very important to be very optimistic, I am an eternal optimist. It’s very important to deal with life on the note of positivity. And I am not saying it for the sake of it. I am an outcome of my theory of believing in optimism. When I came here, I had nothing. What kept me going was my optimism. Decide to be happy and think positive. I don’t believe in criticising people. I just believe in complete optimism.