Sidharth Malhotra recently became the first ever male actor in India to endorse a makeup brand for women. He is the face of MyGlamm, a European makeup brand’s LIT collection. The Aiyaary star spoke to Guardian 20 about this unique collaboration, his current state of mind as an actor and his upcoming films.
Q. You have had your share of ups and downs. Has the experience helped you grow as an actor?
A. I think, yes. To answer this question there is so much to learn from success and failure. I think acting is all about connecting with your inner self and that only comes with experience or gets better with experience. I would say there’s a sense of maturity now whether it’s learning things in my personal life or professional life… There’s a different sense of focus, preparation, a different sense of what I want to do and the kind of films I want to do. So yes, I think a lot has changed, or I would say that I have had a great learning experience. Well, about growing as an actor, rather than me saying it, I am more eager for people to see the change in my next releases. So looking forward to that.
Q. Do you think there exists some secret formula for success when you are working in the film industry?
A. No clue! I don’t think so. But maybe being thick skinned helps [laughs]… I think for me as someone who has come to this industry and has been lucky enough to get a job here, the only thing that I feel I should keep doing is playing my part correctly as an actor. An actor is a part of a project; he is not somebody who makes the project. You know, there are so many people involved, the direction team, the writers, the producers—so I think it’s a collaborative thing. It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular mantra for success
Q. Jabariya Jodi features you in a very rustic avatar. Was it difficult pulling that off since we have never seen you play such a character in the past? And was it fun for you to portray the role?
A. I play a Bihari guy in the film. The language they speak is different from what normal Hindi is. So it was quite challenging to learn a new language. I even coloured my hair and changed my overall look for the film. So yes, it was fun to portray this character.
Q. How did the collaboration with MyGlamm happen?
A. I first thought that I have heard it wrong that a makeup brand wants to feature me in their campaign. I mean, it’s one thing to be a metrosexual man, but makeup is a different thing altogether. Then I got to know about the details of #TestedOnSID campaign and signed up as a willing guinea pig because I’d any day sign up for a product that is not tested on animals. I think the colours represent today’s young ladies who are confident, strong, self-assured and not afraid to express themselves.
It was a very new experience for me. I think it’s been a learning experience to see how much goes into women’s makeup, in the art of getting “ready”. In technical terms, there were so many makeup phrases and words that I had never heard of before this campaign.
Q. In addition to highlighting the brand’s cruelty-free philosophy, the campaign also in its own way tries to shatter a stereotype that only women can wear makeup. Do you agree?
A. Yes, in today’s generation, makeup especially is something which is very personal. It is also a form of expression, be it for a man or a woman. I think to each his or her own. And why not? It’s a norm that we have seen growing up that only women wear makeup, but today you see men experimenting with their looks too, which I think is interesting. We all can express ourselves with makeup and feel and look different.
Q. What do you as a man who doesn’t use makeup much think about the LIT collection?
A. I think the LIT collection is “lit”. It’s for women who are confident and who are sensitive to animal cruelty, for women who are self-made, who like to express their moods and try different looks. For me, it was a very fun campaign and also to know how much effort goes into creating makeup was interesting too. There are so many techniques when it comes to applying makeup, there’s so much you can do according to your mood and occasion. So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Q. How much does inner beauty matter to you, and are you a better judge of people now that you have been around in Bollywood for over five years?
A. I am all about inner beauty and that is something you can’t take off or change, unlike your makeup. That is the true DNA you are born with. It’s the personality that all of us carry and that somewhat translates in the outer appearance as well. So that’s something very interesting and almost like a turn on for me. And I don’t know about me being a better judge. I feel that’s a learning curve and experience, though I’m hoping that I am better than what I was during Student of The Year.
Q. Similar to collaborations like these, your upcoming movies also reflect your current state of mind, which seems to be open to experimentation and trying out new things. So has that been happening consciously?
A. Yes, similar to collaborations like these, my upcoming movies are also very exciting. I am very excited about my line-up whether its Jabariya Jodi where I play a Patna-based boy, which is completely new for me or my current film which I am shooting for, Marjawan, which is an action film/intense love story; or my next film which is Sher Shah, a biopic of Captain Vikram Batra, who was a soldier for the Indian Army. All three are completely different but are great emotional stories to tell. I get to play various shades as an actor in these so I am super excited. They are all meant for a larger audience and really looking forward to my releases next year.
Q. What is your favourite product to use from the skincare and cosmetics range?
A. Favourite products would be a moisturiser and a makeup remover because of my work. If I would have to pick one, I would say a face wash, purely for removing makeup and also for hygiene. It’s something that’s good for your skin, that’s about it and maybe a scrub to get off all the dry skin.