- How did you get into this field?
I can give you the boring, diplomatic answer that makes me sound intelligent and ambitious, but that’s not the case. I’d rather be authentic because I value authenticity and I’m not a hypocrite. In my teens, I realized I wanted a career with more holidays than workdays. At the time, I also preferred the path of least resistance. These weren’t articulated thoughts, but I had a vague concept of them. So, during college, when I was modeling to pay for my education, acting gigs came around organically. Time went by, and I slowly understood that acting is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It fulfills my first two needs as a teen, and I keep discovering so many more great reasons to do it, even after 20 years.
- What have been the highpoints of your career so far?
Every time I am given respect is a highpoint for me. My father was a Brigadier in the Indian Army. One of the things I admired about people in India is that they had great respect for anyone in the Indian Army. I did not join the army, however, surprisingly, people also respect actors. They might not have seen any of my work, but in conversation when it comes up, you know those polite conversations at parties. “Oh, how do you do? What do you do?” When I reply, “I am an actor,” people usually reply with a hint of excitement in their voice. I don’t know why that is, but it is so. That’s just one subtle instance. Like this, there are many. As for me, being part of the two biggest films, Adipurush and Animal, to come out of India this year and playing primary roles in both, isn’t a highpoint of my career. But every time I am given respect that is a highpoint for me. It’s the gestures that matter to me.
- Your dream role? Your dream director?
My dream role would be to play a character that leaves the audience guessing right till the end, and then even after, like the spinning top in the movie Inception by Christopher Nolan. I’d like to play a character who isn’t only black and white, with 50 shades of grey in between, but who keeps the audience guessing with their unpredictability. My dream director is a director who has a clear vision, a distinct voice, and who has confidence in me.
- Any south Indian movie projects you’re looking at or have done since south Indian movies are now famous worldwide?
I would love to play villainous roles in the South Indian film industry. I have great respect for our brother storytellers and would love to work there if given the opportunity.
- What is your fitness regime? And your diet and nutrition plan like?
My fitness regime is six days a week. It’s important for me to move in one way or another. That’s why I got my certification to be a fitness and flexibility teacher this year. I am also my club’s badminton champion, winning tournaments for the past three years. For the first two years, we came in first, and this year we came in second. I play doubles. I practice the disciplines of martial arts, calisthenics, parkour, yogasana, and gymnastics at a basic level. I also enjoy swimming and surfing. I don’t have a specific diet plan. I make sure to burn all the calories I put on, so I enjoy everything from butter chicken to smoothies. I make sure not to miss out on food, because it’s one of the primary qualities I live for. I am a foodie at heart and tummy. From the inside and outside, I am a 6-pack flexible fit guy. It’s a good balance that I am proud to maintain.
- How do you like to celebrate Diwali and what plans this year for Diwali?
Diwali is family time, no crackers, no fireworks, just family, family-friends, food, drinks, laughter, and music and a little pooja, my mother does every year on Diwali, where even our dogs join in.
- How would you like to describe your fashion statement?
It doesn’t matter if I have a 50,000-rupee shirt on. If I look fit, I can make even a 50-rupee shirt bought off fashion street look good and wear well. So I don’t invest in an expensive wardrobe. I invest in making a great-looking body, and everything will look great on me.
- Your favourite travel destinations?
I’ve been riding to Ladakh for the last 10 years, and any new destination on my motorcycle is a favourite travel destination. I prefer to explore new roads, so any time off, I’d like to explore a new journey and arrive at a new destination.
- Who are your favourite south Indian movie stars and favourite south Indian movies and south Indian directors?
I feel we should stop labelling ourselves as North Indian actors, South Indian directors, and so on. In the end, we are all Indian filmmakers, saying stories in different Indian languages.
- What are the projects you’re currently working on?
I have a movie called Animal, directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, coming out on December 1st, which I am very excited for. Other than that, I am writing and producing an international feature film, an Indo-French collaboration, and I am working on producing and creating a travel series, The Motorcycle Monk Travel Show. I am a motivational speaker for corporate events and give TEDx talks to schools and colleges as a Motorcycle Monk.
SLOW AND STEADY
AN ACCOMPLISHED ACTOR, WHO RECENTLY PLAYED A LEAD ROLE ALONGSIDE MRUNAL THAKUR IN THE WEB SERIES MADE IN HEAVEN SEASON 2, HAS BEEN CREATING RIPPLES EVER SINCE THE RELEASE OF THE POPULAR SERIES. SIDDHANT KARNICK IS TAKING IT SLOW AND STEADY AND TAKING IT ALL IN HIS STRIDE WITH A GOOD SPATE OF INTERESTING PROJECTS LINED UP. HE HAS ALSO PLAYED THE ROLE OF VIBHISHAN IN ADIPURUSH, AND HIS OTHER KNOWN PROJECTS ARE PROJECT 11, LAFANGEY PARINDEY AND THAPPAD. ALSO, HE HAS PLAYED A STRONG AND IMPACTFUL ROLE IN THE MOVIE ANIMAL WITH RANBIR KAPOOR AND ANIL KAPOOR THAT IS SOON TO RELEASE IN THEATRES.
by Namita Gupta