Anupam Kher on completing 40 years in Bollywood: It’s just the beginning

Anupam Kher completed 40 years in Bollywood recently and he calls it “a dream run” and “just the beginning”. “People try to write you off basis the number of years you spend in an industry. But I have started doing my best work now,” says the actor whose first film was Saaransh (1984).

Anupam Kher on completing 40 years in Bollywood
Anupam Kher on completing 40 years in Bollywood

Talking about the changes he has seen over the years, Kher says, “Initially, I did everything with a sense of competition or to being called the best. But now, I am not in any race,” adding, “In today’s time people have to prove their worth with every film. It has become a more box office dominated industry. We are dominated by numbers, including how many followers you have or how many crores you made.”

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Kher has been a part of 541 films in 40 years, including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006), A Wednesday (2008), The Kashmir Files (2022). And in this journey, one piece of advice that has stayed with him is the one given to him by the late filmmaker Manmohan Desai. “When I was shooting for Saaransh, he was shooting for Mard (1985) in the same place and he told me to ‘keep yourself busy, don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t become choosy, just work every single day’.”

The 69-year-old moved West too with films like Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and shows like New Amsterdam. “It was challenging because I am a product of Hindi medium and I think in Hindi. I was petrified because I don’t think in English,” he recalls, adding, “I was the first actor to do varied roles. I did mediocre roles also, and I own but I also did Saransh at the age of 27. I broke the myth of typecasting,” he ends.

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