Veteran actor Sameer Khakhar is eagerly waiting for the Hindi film industry to get back on its feet. Best known for playing Khopdi in Nukkad, Khakhar is on the lookout for good roles, which he shares have stopped coming.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Khakhar said, “I don’t want to sound sad and say I am not satisfied with how things are at the moment. However, I am really hoping that the quantum of work I am looking for, comes my way. I am eager to get in front of the camera, and can only wish to get some good offers this year.”
Sameer Khakhar, who was a sought-after actor in the 90s, revealed that in 1996, he moved to the US and started working as a Java coder. In 2008, when the recession hit, he moved back to India and took up his first love – acting.
“I was quite happy living a new life in US. I also knew that no one will recognise me as an actor there, and so I adapted well to the new field. I think very few, and only the lucky ones get to live different phases like this. I returned to India in 2008, and barring a few projects, I never got offered many good roles. I hope things change now,” Sameer Khakhar added with a smile.
The actor shared that even when he was in India, there was a lack of offers, and the roles that came his way were similar to “Khopdi”.
He remarked, “After Nukkad, most people gave me similar roles. Having started my character on stage, and then doing some wonderful parts, I understand acting. And no artiste with a rational mind would accept doing the same thing again and again. Also, Khopdi was a character that was created with a lot of care by Saeed Mirza. It was very different and humane, and the team had nurtured it with so much love. While everyone wanted to use me as Khopdi, I had decided to not destroy the character.”
Sameer Khakhar confessed that while he did reach out to friends, whatever work he got post his return to India was all based on his earlier work. In the past few years, the actor has been seen in Hasee Toh Phasee, Jai Ho, Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi and TV shows Adaalat, Sanjeevani among others. “One cannot become a good actor by running around asking for work. I am also a little old school, and cannot self sell myself. I don’t understand how to market. I am sure people who know me and my work will reach out when they have something for me,” he stated.
And one of those people was filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who gave him a small, yet performance-oriented part in Netflix film Serious Men. Khakhar shared that Mishra knew about his work, as he had directed the second part of Nukkad. The actor added that Mishra called him and offered the role of the minister, which he thoroughly enjoyed playing.
The thespian further shared that he has no regrets as he feels that would mean he has accepted defeat. As for the kind of roles he wants to do next, Khakhar said, “Any kind. I have done all types of roles. I have even been asked if I want to take up other aspects of filmmaking. But I have been an actor, and that’s what I want to keep doing forever.”
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