Sikandar Kher stood out with his act as Daulat, the trusted aide of Aarya (Sushmita Sen) and her family, in the crime drama web series Aarya. Directed by Ram Madhvani, Aarya’s second season trailer has been well received by the audience. Sikandar is all set to reprise his role in the web series. We caught up with the actor for an exclusive conversation. Excerpts:
What made you say yes to the show initially? Tell us something about Aarya 2.
I cannot say anything about the second season. But there is a casting director named Abhimanyu Ray, who has done the casting for Aarya 2 as well. He called me and told me that there is a character called Daulat and I want you to test for it. He really had a strong conviction about me playing this part. He did a screen test with me, and he guided me through it. He showed it to the makers, and they really liked it. When I read the script, I totally loved it, so there was nothing more to see further. It all worked out.
How was it to work with Ram and Sushmita?
His style is very unique, and it is something that I have never seen before. He takes one shot, there is no cut to something etc. He is brilliant as a director. Sushmita is warm, loving, fun and a fabulous co-star. I have had a great time with all of them.
Do you think OTT has helped actors get recognition? Is there a difference in the working pattern between films and OTT?
I think it is all the same and there isn’t much difference. The working style is the same, you are going on the sets to act, and there is someone directing. Theatres have just opened right now, and I was lucky enough to be in a film like Sooryavanshi, which has done so well at the box office and is a blockbuster. So you certainly get a high when a film does well.
Other than that, OTT is great for everyone, and it has definitely become a medium for people to showcase their work. So the more people are getting work on OTT, the audience is finding new actors to see. Like when the Indian Premier League (IPL) came into being, we all started discovering more cricketers. With OTT, we have discovered more actors, technicians, writers, etc. So it’s a great space as we get to see fresh content, and that too faster.
Being from a film background, do you feel any pressure?
I never had any expectations as to how I was and how I should be. It does not occur in my head. Everyone has their own path, and we all have our ways to go about it. Yes, I am privileged, and I was born in comfort. I have a home, food on my plate, and I can pursue a career that is creative. I am very lucky in that sense.
Your social media interactions are attracting a lot of attention...
I am just honest, and I do not care about what people think. We, as human beings, judge naturally, Even I do that. But it would not change me as a person, as long as I know what I am from inside. It is how I am at home with my parents.
How does it feel that Aarya was nominated for an Emmy Award?
I think it is amazing. I am so happy for Ram sir, and the entire team. The script has been so close to him for several years, and he has been through a lot in it emotionally too. So it is wonderful to see something beautiful happening to such a wonderful human being. It is, of course, fortunate for all of us, but it is only because of him that we are part of the show. All the credit goes to him.