ANI Photo | “Even when I didn’t have work, I knew I was a brilliant actor”: Anupam Kher on combating fear of failure

An actor who started his career playing the role of a 65-year-old man (Saaransh) while he was 29 in reality, cannot have fear of failure. He was and still is sure of his craft. He is a well-read person, who has a personal collection of 14,000 books. Anupam Kher, a talented actor in the Hindi film industry, is going stronger on his work front with each passing day.
From ‘Saaransh’ to ‘The Kashmir Files’, the actor has worked in 522 films over a span of 38 years. In an exclusive chat with ANI, the actor talked about his biggest fear, how he overcame the anxiety of failure and meeting with his wife Kirron Kher.
“If you ask me about my biggest fear, it is the fear of losing memory. If you don’t have memory, you have nothing. Dilip Saab (Kumar) lost his memory. He was an amazing person, an amazing storyteller, a person with vast knowledge of many things. Aap unse kisi bhi cheez ke bare mein baat kar sakte the. (You can talk to him on anything and everything),” Anupam was recollecting the bygone days.
Then he shared an anecdote of working with Dilip Saab. “We were shooting for ‘Saudagar’ in Kulu-Manali.” Director Subhash (Ghai) told me we would get a lunch break after 2.30 PM. I was starving by then. Then I asked Dilip Saab, what your father’s profession was. He said, he was a fruit seller. Aise laal laal seeb late the, ke usko dekh kar hi khane ko man karta tha. Wo seeb hath me aise lekar, usme daat daalkar khaneke baad, jab wo ras gale me jata tha…(The red apples were so lucrative and titillating…Holding them in hands and having a bite on them and when the juice touches my taste buds…).

Anupam was trying to reinforce the fact that Dilip Kumar could describe anything in vivid detail. But that person lived his last few years in oblivion. From his own experience, Anupam shared, “While shooting for “Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara”, I met many people who were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. They have vacant eyes, not blank eyes.”
The actor has worked with all the big names in the Hindi film industry. Chopra, Barjatya, Bhatts… he was and (is) a favourite of these houses. Asked about whether he ever felt the anxiety of failure, Kher said with confidence, “When I didn’t have work, even then I knew I was a brilliant actor. This confidence comes from education. I am a well-read person. Mein acting school me itna ghis chukka tha. I always knew I am a brilliant actor. I have a collection of 14000 books. If you read books in any field, you would know your craft. You won’t fear failure.”
He continued, “I celebrate failure. My father drove away the fear of failure early in childhood days. He said, failure is an event, never a person. I believe, you can do brilliant things, only if you have stepped out of your comfort zone. There’s a famous line from Osho, “If you try, you risk failure, if you don’t, you only ensure it.”
Anupam and Kirron Kher make a lovely pair in the industry. But they are best friends first, and partners later. Sharing the details of meeting Kirron for the first time, Anupam said, “She was a star already then. She was doing theatres, she was working in movies. She is an M.A. first class first. I met her in Chandigarh. I was a simple village boy. Apparently, there was no connection between us. She was married then and had Sikandar (Kher). We used to be best of friends and we did theatres together. Later when she had problems in marriage, I was ditched by the person I was going with, and then things started to change. But we always remain best friends first.”
Anupam believes Kirron would have worked in more films than she achieved so far. They know each other for more than four decades now. (ANI)

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