34 may not be a milestone of a year, however, for actor Sidhant Gupta – who turned 34 last week – the calls for celebration were many. “I haven’t felt so much love ever,” says Gupta – who is basking in the glory of his recent release Jubilee. He adds, “It (the birthday) was different. Suddenly life has meaning.”
Taking a leaf from his response, ask him if he was having any existential crisis of sorts recently. “I was before the lockdown to be honest,” he confesses. Just like many, Gupta’s life came at a ‘standstill’ during the pandemic. “That was the time I took a pause and wondered ‘Why am I blaming the whole world for this choice – to be an actor in this city – that I’ve made?” It’s my choice. Then you just take your life’s steering wheel in your own hands. You make a choice that if you want to do this work in your life, you have to find the reason why you want to do this work and it has to go beyond everything that you feel, the money, the fame. This birthday is when it all felt very meaningful,” Gupta elaborates.
He turned a penniless migrant Jay Khanna in Vikramaditya Motwane’s directorial. Gupta’s performance as the aspiring filmmaker caught everyone’s attention, many even calling him a ‘star in making’. However, what those critics weren’t versed with, was the fact that Gupta has been working for over a decade now. “Sidhanth also discovered Sidhant not too long ago, so I think it’s fine, what they are saying makes sense,” he says. Moreover, the actor calls his journey ‘a long ride’. “I just wish I had spent some time alone growing up, so that I could find my own voice sooner. It seems like I have lived this whole life and all journey, but (today) I feel like a complete different human being to be honest. I don’t regret anything. I’m at a position where I’m happy creatively. If this (show) has come to me, I thank God I didn’t give up, thank God, I didn’t know how to give up,” he gushes.
What does he mean by giving up? He clarifies, “Give up as in there are moments where you feel that nothing is going your way, like after television when I wanted to just move away from television, because I wasn’t really happy. I did some films like Bhoomi and then nothing was going my way. I wouldn’t have any opportunity. I didn’t have any work. Like none, only television – which I knew was monotonous. You don’t have space to create. There are those moments when you don’t know what to do, you feel like you’re in this city where there are millions of people in the middle of this tunnel and you’re just screaming. Only you can care if you’re on screen and no one else is even interested. So in moments like that if I didn’t give up then thank god, maybe I don’t know how to give up and that’s a good thing.”
Gupta started his career with Bollywood then shifted to TV doing a fiction and non-fiction show, before trying his luck in Hindi films and then OTT. However, not many are aware that the actor took a break to reinvent his craft before bagging Inside Edge. Gupta went incognito when he his father was “unwell” in 2015. “That was also the same time when I actually just left from here. After my father was unwell, there were some issues happening, and then I solved all of those as much as I could and I just left. I went to London just for some time just to be away from everything and everyone. To just find more to something because I wasn’t happy. I felt that I needed to break free from this from everyone that I know. Because when your career is not going your way, that keeps you unhappy. Because all your stakes are in one basket. And you realise there is no basket. So that’s when I actually felt the need to just kind of break free and I move away for some time,” he recalls.
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