Siddhant Chaturvedi is the proverbial outsider who’s declared himself a representative of the many hopefuls out there. The young actor lets HELLO! in on his film philosophy, traversing the industry solo, and how he’ll know that he’s finally arrived.
Young, restless and, by his own admission, deeply ambitious and determined. He’s B-Town’s poster boy of cool. This chartered accountant gave up crunching numbers to win hearts at the box office. When he took over our screens rapping ‘Sher Aaya Sher’ in Gully Boy, it was nothing less than prophetic, a sign of times to come, the shots that announced the arrival of Siddhant Chaturvedi.
The 29-year-old’s endearing appeal, irresistible charm and easy-going vibe made him a national heartthrob near instantaneously. Describing himself as a representative of the many hopefuls out there, he says, “If I could make it, you can, too,” emphasising his conviction and utmost confidence in his craft as the recipe for his success.
While he exudes an aura of self-confidence, Siddhant retains a child-like curiosity that’s evident when he reveals how often he Googles himself. “I like to see whether ‘Chaturvedi’ follows when I type ‘Siddhant’. Right now I come third in search engines. But the day I type ‘Sid’ and it suggests ‘Siddhant Chaturvedi’, I’ll know I’ve arrived,” he says, his innate sense of mischief making an appearance.
Just four films old, Siddhant came into prominence as MC Sher in the 2019 Ranveer Singh-starrer Gully Boy. Although Bunty Aur Babli 2 received a lukewarm response, his portrayal of Zain, a man caught in a complicated liaison in Gehraiyaan (2021) with Deepika Padukone and Ananya Panday, and a ghostbuster in horror-comedy Phone Bhoot (2022) with Katrina Kaif and Ishaan Khatter won him accolades and appreciation as a talent to watch out for.
While he candidly reveals that he had set himself a five-year target to achieve his goals, Siddhant vehemently stresses that he will neither travel the tried-and-tested route, nor compromise on his beliefs along the way.
“Stardom, for me, has always been to do the films I believe in. As actors, you are consumed with self-doubt and tend to get swayed. But I realised that if you can’t win the game, you change the game. That’s been my modus operandi.”
“Even while auditioning during my days of struggle, I picked what resonated with me. They say beggars can’t be choosers. Well, I was the beggar who chose even back then.”
“I’m trying to push the boundaries and try my hand at different genres and out-of-the-box subjects. I have the advantage of connecting with audiences my age, the people who are going to grow with me. So why not tell their stories? That’s the decisive factor when I choose scripts or sign films.”
On his penchant for penning couplets, the young actor says articulating his observations and experiences through poetry and art is a coping mechanism, one he finds truly therapeutic.
“I feel if you want to be relevant as an actor, celebrity or even an icon, you can either be visible getting papped, being spotted exiting the gym, etc, or you hone your skills so that people connect with you on a deeper level. For me, the latter holds true and is far more motivating. I don’t want to be remembered for how I look but for my work and talent. Apart from being seen on the screen, I’ve done much studying on how else I can add value to something.”
The proverbial outsider from a non-film family, Siddhant made headlines when he gave a straightforward yet cryptic response to his Gehraiyaan co-star Ananya’s comment on struggling despite her family’s industry connections. He responded saying, “Jahaan humare sapne poore hote hai, waha inke struggle shuru hote hai (their struggle begins where our dreams get fulfilled)”. While he may shrug off the comments as being said in jest, Siddhant acknowledges that there’s a constant fear of getting lost in Bollywood’s glitzy corridors.
“I come from a place where I need to fend for myself. There’s no support. There’s only hunger and a deep, driven ambition. I won’t say I’m there yet, but I see a path opening up in the mist. There are times I get overwhelmed, so I simply take off on a trip to clear my mind, but I’m in no way relaxed and waiting for things to happen. I know I have to make things happen to be on top of my game.”
When he reveals he’d love to represent India internationally, we ask: is there something brewing on this front?
“Not yet. But seeing the way the world’s become so much smaller thanks to social media, it’s my dream to represent India globally. This is the time for it, and I want to achieve it,” he adds, determined.
We wonder whether the constant spotlight bothers him, but he once again alludes to his non-film background with his retort: “Well, where I come from, when anything’s written or discussed about you, it’s a big deal!
They are noticing you and sharing your struggles. So it’s all good. I have no complaints yet. Even when it’s negative press, it shows that they are at least noticing you.”
His pragmatic approach comes to the surface when he says no one from the industry is ever on your speed dial, and that it’s only during promotions that they come together, after which they head their separate ways — though Siddhant does add that his Phone Bhoot co-star Ishaan Khatter is a close friend.
This interbiew has been adapted for the website from an interview that was originally published in HELLO! India’s January 2023 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!