Zoya Akhtar’s latest film, Gully Boy, is a big hit with the critics and the audiences alike. Alia Bhatt has impressed everyone again with her natural talent and the film’s star, Ranveer Singh has proven that is among the best in Bollywood right now. However, what took everyone by surprise was the brilliant performance of Siddhant Chaturvedi — Gully Boy’s MC Sher, who made his Bollywood debut with the film.
Siddhant plays a cool rapper with the warmest soul in the movie. He is a mentor, a friend and a brother to a budding artiste whose selflessness and kind heart has won over the hearts of many. In this interview, Siddhant talks about working with Ranveer, the praise coming his way and the MC Shers of his own life.
Everyone is raving about Gully Boy and your performance in the film. Who gave you the one compliment that stood out?
It was Deepika (Padukone) who said ‘Oh! He is just a boy. He is so cute’. People were expecting someone huge. You know like someone around 28. When people saw me in real they were quite astonished. They were like ‘Oh he is just 25! He is so cute.’ So I think that was a compliment. When people are surprised by your onscreen self and then they see you off screen, that is actually a compliment. Also, they thought I am a real rapper .
Several reviews and even those who have seen the movie have felt that you overshadowed Ranveer in many scenes. Did you feel so and was that ever the intention?
No, no. How is that an intention? How can anyone overshadow (Ranveer)? We come from the school of thought that we don’t think like that. We are just playing our parts. And no, I was just his mentor and that’s how I look at it. Ultimately the film is about him, the Gully Boy. Ranveer Singh in and as Gully Boy like in and as Simmba. He is the one who has contributed a huge part, he is the one who got the audience into theatres. So I don’t think anyone can (overshadow him). I was in tears watching him in the theatre. So it’s nothing like that. Puraane zamaane ki baatein hai sab (Such thoughts are now obsolete).
But does that feel like a compliment?
No, no. I am very happy that my role has been appreciated because I related to MC Sher. They have really liked the character and that is what I take away from it.
On your social media we see you writing poems and in a recent interview you said you were bullied as a child. Do you think your life story was similar to Murad in a way?
I used to feel like apna time kab aaega. So I used to write but those were usually haikus and maybe four-liners, nothing in the long format. Those were just thoughts. So yea I could relate (to Murad). But in real life I can relate to MC Sher more. But that’s how we are, we are actors and we do things. That’s the beauty of it.
Did you have an MC Sher in your life?
I don’t have one MC Sher, I have lots of MC Shers in my life. My dad is my MC Sher, there is Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, and Zoya Akhtar was my sherni. And last but not the least, Ranveer Singh. Every time the scene would cut I would ask him ‘Baba how was it’. He would tell me ‘Bhot hard. Bhot sai karra hai tu’. So he used to give me that confidence; I am a huge fan of his work.
(Spoiler) There was a great scene in the movie when during the semi-finals to the rap battle, Sher realises he has lost and Murad has won. He turns around with a big smile on his face and is only feeling happiness for his friend. How was it filming that scene. Was the selfless emotion something you could feel easily?
That was very spontaneous. I took place in just one take; Zoya never discussed that scene and she just told me very briefly what it is about. She just let me do my thing, however, I felt like. And that scene was shot by the end of the shoot and by then, he was Murad and I was Sher. And I also have a 13 year old brother for whom I am Sher. And MC Sher as a veteran has won so many battles. He is happy for him (Murad), it’s his first battle. I coule relate to his feelings.
Do you ever think what MC Sher would be doing now? After the film ended?
I don’t know…they must be doing shows together, Gully Boy and MC Sher. They will come up with a great album , they will collaborate with some international artist. You know their styles are also very different — MC Sher is very street and Ranveer’s lyrics are very soulful.
Which other scene did you think was very important in Sher’s story?
I don’t break down scenes like that but I think one of the most important scenes was at Sher’s house. When Murad also sees him and that briefly gives him an idea about his background, his family and where he comes from.
Karan Johar recently praised the film and your performance in an Instagram post and you commented that your family is sharing screeenshots of it on WhatsApp. What has been your family’s reaction to the film?
They have been very emotional. You know I come from a very normal family. I have grown up watching Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar. So, for him to post about me is a big deal. I am a huge fan of his direction and production. So yes, it was a big deal for my family.
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Feb 22, 2019 11:48 IST
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