Updated January 17th, 2024 at 14:33 IST
Exclusive/ Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Star Siddhant Chaturvedi Weighs In On Pap Culture: I Don’t Like The Facade...
A young lad from Uttar Pradesh's Ballia, Siddhant highlighted that he had limited exposure growing up and expressed how the sudden scrutiny affected him.
In Bollywood, where stardom can be as fleeting as it is dazzling, 'outsider' Siddhant Chaturvedi has emerged as a talent to reckon with. His journey from the breakout success of Gully Boy to the unexpected challenges faced with Bunty Aur Babli 2 reflects the unpredictable nature of the film industry. In a recent interview with Republic, Siddhant, whose latest outing Kho Gaye Hum Kahan dives into the complexities of adolescence, portraying the tumultuous journey of self-discovery and identity formation in the age of social media, shed light on the impact of social media on him, coping with criticism, and his take on the paparazzi culture.
Riding the wave of success
Siddhant's Bollywood debut in Gully Boy was nothing short of a whirlwind. The film not only showcased his acting prowess but also thrust him into the limelight, making him a talking point on social media. Reflecting on that period, Siddhant expressed his initial excitement, saying, "After Gully Boy, I was very excited. I was really enjoying it for the first 8 to 9 months. I was like...wow."
The success of Gully Boy also coincided with the rising popularity of the rap scene, contributing to the fervor around the film. However, the subsequent release of Bunty Aur Babli 2 did not receive the expected response at the box office, prompting Siddhant to reassess his approach. He shared, "When few of the films didn't work and the pandemic happened, the whole consumer behavior and everything changed. It's then that I thought, I should just take a step back and work on my craft, work on the (film) choices."
Siddhant acknowledged the impact of social media on his journey, recognising the shift in consumer behavior during the pandemic. When questioned about the influence of negative comments and criticism on social media, he candidly admitted, "It does (affect me). It's not like I don't care. I do...because I think since the last two years, there was not much happening."
The actor shared his experience of reading comments on platforms like Reddit, where he encountered remarks about being overrated. Despite the initial urge to respond, Siddhant realised that engaging with trolls from fake profiles was not in line with his authentic self. He said, "At times I almost went and justified myself from a fake profile. But then I was like, no, this is not me."
Siddhant on navigating criticism and trolls
A young lad from Uttar Pradesh's Ballia, Siddhant highlighted that he had limited exposure growing up and expressed how the sudden scrutiny and opinions affected him. He shared, "I had no clue. I come from a background where there wasn't so much exposure when I was growing up, there weren't so many eyes on me. Suddenly, there are so many eyes on me, and people were talking things about me. It kind of affects, because I have not been trained or conditioned like that. I am learning."
Acknowledging the challenges posed by the online world, Siddhant emphasised the importance of learning to take feedback constructively. He shared, "I think it's a journey, where you eventually learn to take the feedback. I cannot mute it. This is the world we live in, and people have the right to give feedback. At the same time, I try to take what is necessary and eliminate what's not. I try to balance it out. And I think I'm still learning."
The actor admitted to experiencing "sleepless nights" while grappling with online feedback, eventually deciding to let his work speak for itself. He said, "I thought...let my work speak for myself." Siddhant revealed that the evolving nature of the industry and the demands of social media compelled him to take a step back and reassess his priorities.
Paparazzi culture and the facade of stardom
Delving into the world of celebrity sightings and paparazzi, Siddhant shared his perspective on the trend of capturing celebrities walking in and out of various places. He expressed his dissatisfaction, calling it a "waste" and questioning the authenticity of such efforts to remain relevant.
"I need films. I need good films. I need good work to even be confident to walk out of that restaurant and just smile at people and wave. If that is not happening, the work is not speaking for me, I don't like the facade of just trying to be relevant and maintain the stardom where I am," Siddhant asserted.
The actor further emphasised his commitment to authenticity, stating, "Buying a car or just posting selfies from a vacation or all of that...I just feel that's all a waste because if I'm not serving my audience, then I feel I don't deserve it."
Published January 17th, 2024 at 14:25 IST