He did some intense action in his last film, Brothers and welcomes this change of playing lighter characters in his forthcoming films. Sidharth Malhotra plays the underdog brother in the dysfunctional family of Kapoor & Sons and has evidently enjoyed it. Dressed in a black tee, black jeans and white jacket, Sidharth Malhotra is the epitome of cool when we meet him. He is at his jovial best, sharing the fun the team had on the sets, his bond with co-actors Fawad and Alia, and relating to the character personally. Nothing takes away his smile – neither his link-up rumours nor his recent altercation on Twitter with KRK.
Going by the trailer, Kapoor & Sons appears to be a totally fun, madhouse film. Who among you drove director Shakun Batra mad?
All of us! We traumatised him! He is definitely blaming us for all the ailments that he has because he had too many actors to handle. Hats off to him! He used to give us enough freedom while just being in the confines of the script and dialogue. I think he is an amazing director and has that amazing knack to keep us natural yet portray the emotions that the scene needs.
What’s your role in the film?
I am the youngest member in the family and, for a change, it’s a light role. Normally I play very intense and broody characters but here I’m the chilled out one. I am also trying to be a writer but I am not so successful at it, while Fawad, who’s my older brother, is in London. So I am the struggling albeit casual guy who is not the favourite in the family. See, it usually happens… I too have an older brother and there used to be comparisons. So I am the ‘why are you not like him’ kind of brother here.
You’re playing a writer. Do you write in real life too?
Umm, no! I cannot write for others but I try and note down certain things of my life or happenings through the day.
The film shows sibling rivalry. Since you also have an elder brother, any instances about your personal rivalry you’d like to share?
Things have changed ever since I got into this profession. In this line, it is difficult to not get all the attention but yes, I can relate to the film when I think of things when we were growing up. I used to stay with my grandma and in this film I have a grandpa. Then we had very similar issues with my parents, like when they criticise you and it stays in your mind for long, you’ll blame them for the rest of your life and you fight with them. Similar things have been brought up in the film. That is what the USP is – we are not showing things that are larger than life; we are all playing very normal characters. We laugh, have fun, celebrate birthday parties but there are certain issues and negativities within the family.
How was your bromance with Fawad Khan?
Bromance!! Haha I have become the new Bromance King now. After Akshay sir in Brothers, now Fawad! I am enjoying Baar Baar Dekho because of that – there’s only Katrina! (Laughs)
Fawad is a great guy to work with, an extremely relaxed actor. He feels the scene and reacts how one is exactly supposed to. And yes, I am sure we are looking like brothers again in this homely environment.
So who is a better brother?
I think Akshay paaji. No offence to Fawad, but he and I are more like friends due to a similar age whereas Akshay is more senior. I think with Fawad I was the more protective one. Sometimes he used to get into trouble because of his language also. Slang, in his lingo, is very different. For instance, in Mumbai we say, ‘These young girls item hai’, in Delhi we say ‘Tota hai’, and he used to address them as ‘bachchiya’! Sounds very wrong, na? (laughs) So yes, that’s how we used to bond and his favourite word is masla.
Does working with Alia become easier given the fact that you’ve worked earlier and know each other so well?
Yes of course. Working with actors that you know, you’re friendly with, just gives you more space to improvise and make the scene more entertaining.
So how do you react when there are constant link-ups between you and Alia?
(Smiles widely) Like this! I just smile, yaar!
What is the one thing common between the Kapoor and your Malhotra family?
Aahh! The dinner table scenes are the same. In my house also the dinner table scenes used to range from what my mother has cooked for my elder brother, and what she has cooked for me. And then there is dad who used to ask us about our education and careers. There is the same scene in the movie. A lot of things yaar; I could relate to my brother and me a lot! We used to share the same room after he would be back… the masti that we did, the fights we had and all that.
So did you ever fall for the same girl?
No, no (laughs) He is six years older to me so I was always too young for all that. But you know some of them were really cute but then I was a kid for him.
You’ve worked in an action drama, a romantic thriller and a comedy. Which would be your favourite genre?
It is difficult to pick but now I am enjoying the lighter version of this. Doing two very intense roles – Ek Villain and Brothers back to back, created my image of a very intense guy and this and my next film are far lighter and sweeter characters. I am enjoying these genres because here you can improvise more. I can add a line or two to my scenes and not have it make that big a difference.
A plot with two leads…there are bound to be comparisons drawn between you and Fawad. Are you prepared for it?
I think in this there is no issue of comparison because all of us have small roles. It is not like a two-hero or three-character story, it is a big family. Once you see the film, you’ll realise that all of us have like, 20% to it. We were aware of it when we took this up, so there is no question (of comparisons) because eventually we all contribute to a very lovely story. When I got into the film I knew that I had a smaller role to play but it was a light and refreshing one. I am the happy goofy guy. There is no insecurity or uneasiness.
How was it working with Rishi Kapoor?
I am working with him for the second time (after Student Of The Year) but he treats us like students again. But Fawad was his favourite, obviously he is a foreign crew, na (laughs). Rishiji is such a big foodie and he associates every place with food so he and Fawad bonded on Pakistani food – kebab, rolls. I was vegetarian that time so he hated me.
Who was the mischievous one on the sets?
Well, all of us were. I was actually the one who got the whole crew together to play sports – cricket, football or dumb charades. We had a lot of solo shots, so when I was shooting others were not or vice-versa. So I was given the task by Shakun to get the crew together. I organised a party also for our team, light boys. No one in particular was the most mischievous… maybe I could say it was me because I took slightly more liberty on the sets. I already knew Shakun and Alia; I was in more of a comfort zone.
You recently were very vocal about KRK’s remarks on Alia’s photoshoot. Any comments?
It was actually a build-up of a lot of things. He was sending me WhatsApp messages also of morphed images of girls and again on the same messages he even apologised! So I know him, I’ve known him since Ek Villain. I feel you’re allowed to criticise our movies but let’s not get personal and make personal statements. He apologised to me later.