“Talent nullifies nepotism”: Siddhant Chaturvedi

Bollywood actor and writer Kalki Koechlin and Siddhant Chaturvedi kickstarted the fun and high energy session which was moderated by Kubra Sait by discussing the topic of bullying.

“When people are picking on you, it’s a bad place to be in. You got to stand up one day and speak for yourself, said Siddhant Chaturvedi while addressing the crowd. Kalki added that “Abuse is different from bullying. For me, it was a process that went deep into my adult life. It was when I started questioning why I’m angry and rebellious, that I found my answers. Our generation is talking and coming out about feelings. The way we must raise the next generation should be my empowering them with tools to communicate.”

The topic progressed to the struggles of an aspiring actor, staying relatable, relevant and inspired in life always, and objectification faced by both genders. “As actors, we are always giving. It’s important to replenish ourselves. Constantly. One has to fight the perils that the film industry comes with if you want to achieve your dreams. I was told I am credible and relatable and yet something was missing. I was casually suggested to get the right amount of botox done for my laughter lines. This is an industry that is always looking at you. Are you or are you not willing to go that way, is a choice one must make!”

The discussion then moved on to “typecasting” and how easy and boring it can get to be exactly who you are in life, on-screen. “I need a new skin to wear. You still have a bit of you in a character, but it needs to have layers. MC Sher and Prashant Kanaujia are a little bit me; I am a little bit them,” says Siddhant Chaturvedi.

Both Siddhant and Kalki also spoke about how they felt when they looked at themselves on the screen. Kalki said, “Process is scarier than the rest. First day of the shoot is the scariest. By the time the film releases, you have usually gone on to do other things. You are worrying about other things. You can’t be stuck on the success or failure of your film. You are only as good as your last film.”

Agreeing with Kalki, Siddhant added, “As humans, we are all flawed. And it’s interesting to show that on screen. I am more inclined towards creative satisfaction. I want to be a star because I want to be able to choose.”

Talking about the Bollywood industry, one cannot avoid discussing ‘nepotism’. There have been products of nepotism always, and so have been outsiders. Nothing has changed. Yes, star kids get employment easily. Many a time they aren’t as deserving, but there are also the deserving kinds of. I see this as an opportunity. I believe if you have talent, you will survive. Yes, it’s a little bit tougher for an outsider, but that’s a challenge that should fuel your passion.”