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Sidharth Malhotra: I am drawn to real-life heroes- Cinema express

Sidharth Malhotra: I am drawn to real-life heroes

The actor talks about turning spy for his latest Mission Majnu, embracing action films, and his line-up for the year

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Published: 22nd January 2023

Siddharth Malhotra kickstarts 2023 with the much-awaited spy thriller, Mission Majnu, which streamed directly on Netflix. The film, directed by Shanthanu Bagchi, was supposed to mark Rashmika Mandanna's Hindi debut, although her Vikas Bahl film, Goodbye, released earlier. 

On the sidelines of the film's release, Siddharth talks to us about the film, working with Rashmika, playing a character from the 70s, and more

Excerpts

This will be your second OTT release after Shershah, which is a landmark film in your career. Do you think OTT works better for you than theatres?

I have received a lot of love on this platform. I believe good content gets recognised either way. Every actor wants to reach the widest audience possible, and on this platform, you have to work harder to keep people engaged because, unlike theatres, they sit with a remote in their hands.

This is the first time you are working with Rashmika Mandanna. How was the experience?

It was great. The good thing about her was that she didn’t come with any preconceived notions about what to do on sets, and was in complete sync with (director) Shantanu Bagchi. We were shooting non-stop in Lucknow, so we also connected beyond the sets over food and fitness.

Tell us about your role in Mission Majnu.

I play an R&AW agent and have different disguises throughout the film. We have tried to keep the scenes simple because we wanted to retain the innocence of its love story. Even my costumes are ordinary. I wear what everybody does in normal life.

The film is set in the backdrop of the 1971 war. What did you find striking while portraying a character from that time?

I think people at that time were a lot more innocent because they had limited access to information. Communication, back then, was not easy. You had to literally meet people to pass on information. Very few people had access to a telephone. Socialising was rare. I loved the styling of the 70s, especially the cuts and looks. They used to wear large collars. I had never experienced these things and this role allowed me to do that.

You seem to have taken a liking towards the action genre

I think it started with Ek Villain (2014), after which directors felt I could portray a stronger character. I started doing a lot more films other than action too, but somehow the latter came out back to back. I had signed Shershaah over five years ago, but it was only released in 2021. And now with Mission Majnu, followed by Yodha and Rohit Shetty’s Indian Police Force, it does seem that I am doing a lot of action films. But, I am excited because they are all set in different worlds. I picked these films because I am drawn to real-life stories and heroes. Even though the characters we play in Mission Majnu are fictitious, they are put in real-time driven by true incidents.

How is it working with Rohit Shetty for Indian Police Force?

This is the first time I am shooting in Ramoji Rao Studios, and the scale is fantastic. It is convenient and now I understand why Rohit shoots there all the time. Indian Police Force is part of his cop universe. It’s essentially a cop-chasing-thief kind of story and we are in the last few months of shooting. There are very few directors who present a hero like Rohit does. He manages to do it in a simple shot. His background scores and action style are unique. There is a lot of raw action shot in Hyderabad and Goa. There’s much more hand-to-hand combat and fewer stunts in the film.

How does your 2023 calendar look?

Packed. After Mission Majnu, Yodha and Indian Police Force, I am also in talks for a romantic movie with Kiara Advani.

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