I never carry the burden of my legacy: Anupam Kher


Mumbai: With an experience of over 30 years behind him, Anupam Kher says the only way to still come across fresh as an actor is to constantly shed baggage and not take oneself seriously.

Kher, who has featured in more than 500 films in his career, says he still approaches a script with a sense of “wonderment”.

“Your growth stops the moment you start taking yourself seriously. That ‘I have done this much work’. I never carry the burden of Anupam Kher or this ‘legacy’ on my shoulders. It’s monotonous and presumptuous. I like to be a newcomer all the time,” Kher told PTI in an interview.

The actor said millions of people come to Mumbai to be an actor, but only few do. Hence, he would like to wisely use every opportunity he gets.

“I keep wanting to raise the bar for myself because I learn more when I compete with myself. I am not easily impressed by myself. I never harp on my (successes). I talk about my past as a failure. You learn more by making mistakes and learning from them,” he added.

The 64-year-old actor said today he is in a space where he doesn’t want to feature in films “for the sake of it”.

“Initially, when you’ve struggled a lot, you grab everything that comes your way. Now I want roles to challenge me, to make it difficult for me. I want the director to be good. I am lucky to have got an opportunity to work in films here or do a series abroad. I’m in a great situation where I can choose what I want to do.”

Kher will be next seen in a joint Australian American Indian production, “Hotel Mumbai”.

The Anthony Maras-directed movie recounts the November 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel in Mumbai by a group of LeT terrorists.

Maras’ brief for the film, Kher said, was to live and experience the emotions rather than “act” them out.

“He wanted us to be honest. It was difficult because everybody had done so much work that the craft slipped in. You know which expressions to channel for being frightened, horrified. But he made us go through a six-day workshop, to make us feel what if we were to be killed any moment.

“That fear, its anticipation went on. He recorded sounds of gunshots and had big speakers all over the sets play them in the middle of a scene, giving you the jolt of your life. The honesty was much more important than any kind of craft. I had to feel the fear,” he added.

The film also features Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar, Nagesh Bhosle and Natasha Liu Bordizzo.

“Hotel Mumbai” is scheduled to be released on November 22.