We won’t blame you if you get lost in SAIYAMI KHER’s hazel coloured eyes. In a candid chat with VIRAJ SAWANT, the gifted actress talks about MIRZYA and how it has spoilt her for choice.
This ex-cricketer from Nashik is a die-hard fan of romantic Hindi cinema. Her journey from being a Indian cricket team probable to a lead Hindi film actress has been surreal, she says.
Life after MIRZYA
Things have changed naturally. I could run at Bandstand earlier but now I cannot. People stop me and ask for pictures. But that’s a part of the glamour world, I guess. I have learnt so much from Rakeysh (Omprakash Mehra) sir and Gulzar sir. Nothing has changed drastically because I am still Gulzar sa’ab’s and Rakeysh sir’s biggest chamcha. I have so much more to learn from them. My approach to life has changed post the film. Earlier, I used to be a person who was worried all the time about life and thinking about the future. I have become a more positive person now. The journey of MIRZYA taught me to enjoy what I am doing instead of worrying about the consequences.
MIRZYA was the perfect start for me. I meet Rakeysh sir very often. I tell him that he has spoilt me for life now. Once you’ve worked with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and in a film written by Gulzarsa’ab, everything else seems trivial. They are the best and there’s no denying that. You get used to their style of working. They have raised the bar too high for me.
I still remember after watching the film, Gulzarsa’ab said something to me and I just couldn’t handle it. It was the best compliment I’ve got till date. He said, “You’ve done justice to my writing.” Words like these coming from him mean a lot.
I am a big fan of Hindi films anyway. Now that I am a part of it, the fanaticism has increased even more. I love watching films from old to the latest ones. I am making up for all the films I missed when I was young. Like anyone else I try to catch the latest film that releases on the very first day.
I enjoy films of all genres. I am a sucker for romantic films. But for me the way a romantic story is narrated is important. A film like DUM LAGAKE HAISHA was a romantic film like any other film but the director had a very different take on love. Love or romance between two individuals isn’t a new premise in Bollywood but the director’s way of narrating this one really blew me.
All my childhood I’ve stayed in Nashik and during my school days, sports kept me busy. Till I was 13 or 14 I did not watch films as such. If we watched films then it would be the animated or cartoon ones. Later for my college, I shifted to Bombay and I started doing a lot of theatre in Xavier’s. That’s where the acting bug bit me.
The Next Big Thing
I hope I can match up to these words. It feels great when you are called the ‘Next Big Thing’ because this is something you have worked hard for. More than being the Next Big Thing I hope I can be part of films that will help the industry grow. I want to work on films that will narrate stories in a different way. I am absolutely open to taking risks – there are chances of them not turning out as expected but I would rather be part of something different than the usual.
Success & Failure
When a film makes a lot of money it feels better undoubtedly. Not just my first film but any film you take up, you back it because you believe in it. If it does Rs.10 crore or Rs.100 crore, that shouldn’t change your perspective or your belief in the film. That’s how I look at it. MIRZYA was a film in which I really believed and I still feel I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
I am a strong believer of fate. We can do all the planning in the world but finally what has to happen will happen. I have a wishlist of directors whom I would love to work with. I also know every actor in the country would have a list of the same directors. Unfortunately, they make one or two films in a year. This wishlist will always be there, as and when I get an opportunity to work with my favourite directors, I’ll surely make it work. But having said that, we also have so many talented directors who are churning out mind-blowing, content-driven films! I would try to take it as it comes. If I don’t connect to the script I won’t take it up. For me, relating to the story and doing out of the box films is important. The fun lies in pushing the boundary.
Sachin Tendulkar is someone who has been the biggest influence in my life. My life literally revolves around him. He has taught me a lot and I keep picking morals and inspiration from how he is in real life as well. From the industry, it’s Mr Bachchan. He’s the best actor our country has had and nobody can ever match him. With the amount of humility he conducts himself, it’s just very inspiring.