Siddhanth Kapoor: Why would anyone compare a brother and sister?
The actor fields questions about this week’s release, Paltan
There's quite some reason to single out Siddhanth Kapoor as the most unlikely star kid in Bollywood. His goofy career choices belie the comic legacy of his father Shakti Kapoor or the mainstream appeal of his sister Shraddha. In Anurag Kashyap's 2014 thriller, Ugly, Siddhanth played a scheming iPhone smuggler who fakes the kidnapping of his niece; in Apoorva Lakhia's Haseena Parkar (2017), he stepped up as a grunting and brawling Dawood Ibrahim. In JP Dutta's upcoming war film, Paltan, we will glimpse yet another side to Siddhanth.
"I am the youngest star in Paltan. I play a havildar who works for the intelligence. It's a very honourable role for me to play. I have lived with real soldiers for two months... I've hung out with them and had food with them. I got to know how difficult it is for soldiers to defend and protect our country. They do it very selflessly. We all need to respect that, and I don’t think we do,” the 34-year-old actor tells Cinema Express.
Paltan boasts an ensemble cast, including Jackie Shroff, Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Harshvardhan Rane, Luv Sinha, Esha Gupta, and Sonal Chauhan. Was there ever a fear of obscurity? "This is not that kind of a film. Everyone is just playing a character. Even if an actor says two lines in the film, I'm sure it will leave an impact in a film like this. There’s no hero in this film, and at once, everyone is a hero," he says.
On his surprising choice of roles, Siddhanth says, "I like to do things that someone else will not. I like playing roles that are edgy, and out of the box. I like characters that are emotional, comical, and crazy, and often, all at the same time. That’s probably why all my roles have been very different so far."
Recalling his experience of working with J.P. Dutta (Border, Refugee, LOC Kargil), Siddhanth adds, "I have worked with many directors and all of them have a different approach with actors. With J.P. Sir, it was like a student-teacher relationship. It was very formal and respectful. I've loved his Ghulami (1985) and Hathyar (1989) besides all his war films. He has a vision that is meticulously planned. He sees the film in his head. He doesn't take any spare shots; he knows exactly what he wants."
Based on the 1967 Nathu La and Cho La clashes between India and China, Paltan attempts to unearth some new realities about war. "He (JP Dutta) knows every aspect of war. He takes you behind the scenes to show the consequence of war, and how governments and armies interact. He shows you all sides of war in the film," Siddhanth promises.
Five years since his acting debut in Shootout at Wadala, comparisons with Shraddha have shadowed Siddhanth's career. "Why would anyone compare a brother to his sister? A brother will always be happy if his sister is scaling new heights and reaching the top. Shraddha and I are very close siblings. I just laugh whenever I read such comparisons. She means a lot more to me than just a fellow actor," he says.
But this doesn’t mean he doesn’t go to his family for help and advice. “Of course, I take their advice. Every script of mine is read by my father before I sign the film. He is always supportive of me. So is my sister.”