From voicing his opinion against remarks on intolerance to criticising filmmakers for ‘award waapsi’, Anupam Kher has projected his views outrightly, and the actors says he is aware that somewhere they have upset people from Bollywood.
Last year, Kher had shown disapproval with stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, who had voiced their ‘concern’ over growing intolerance, and followed it by leading a ‘tolerance’ march in the national capital.
The actor, who regularly takes on trolls on Twitter and expresses his opinion about various social and political issues, feels it is important that he stays true to himself, without thinking what others will say.
"We are in an industry, which is need based. If you need me tomorrow, whatever I’ll say it won’t matter to you. Because you need me. If you don’t, then also whatever I say won’t matter.
"I’ve been through that phase. I’ve discovered it is important to be myself. I am sure I have upset people with my opinions and there are people who are not very happy. But that’s alright," Kher said.
The 61-year-old actor insists that "acting is a part of my life, not my life" and hence as a citizen of the country, he will have opinions and will never hesitate to voice them.
Quiz him if it ever bothers that the industry may shun him over his remarks, the veteran says "it does" but chooses to tell the "truth" anyway.
"People like to be popular with everybody, but it’s important to be popular with myself first. I don’t like people getting upset, but the truth is more important than not upsetting people.
"That’s the way I’ve been brought up. My grandfather, father told me that truth is much more important than being popular with certain people. Even if you’re popular with certain people, what do you get out of it?" Kher said.
The actor believes that he cannot please the whole world and people who are close to him will remain so, irrespective of what he says.
Kher is close to director Neeraj Pandey. The actor has worked with Pandey since his directorial debut A Wednesday and is currently geared up for the latest, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story.
"Neeraj is a magician", says Kher, "It is his fourth film. I’ve been part of all four and all of them are different from each other, and in all of them, he has presented me differently".
In the biopic of Dhoni, Kher plays the father of the Indian cricketer, who is played by actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
When the actor met Pan Singh Dhoni, he realised he had to lose weight to fit the character and underwent a "personal journey", without trying to "observe" anything from him.
"I didn’t do that because this is not a father I didn’t know. My father was like that, friend’s father was like that.
I’ve seen so many middle class, lower middle class fathers who are very ordinary people.
"The most difficult thing in the world is to play an ordinary person on camera. Because there are no theatrics, you have to bring out your drama, pathos, strengths without any outburst," Kher said.
The actor is all praise for Dhoni’s family, who he met and interacted with during the course of the film.
"His referring to his son constantly as ‘Mahiya’ was very endearing. Dhoni hasn’t changed at all. There may be a Hummer outside his house, but it doesn’t matter even if there is an aircraft or a cycle outside. His mother and father are very sweet, simple and nice people."
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story releases on September 30.