From films such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995 to The Accidental Prime Minister in 2018, Bollywood's Anupam Kher has become one of the most prominent faces in the industry. And not only in Bollywood. The actor has made his way across the seven seas and also starred in international films, namely Bend It Like Beckham in 2002 and Silver Linings Playbook in 2012, opposite Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. And clocking 35 years in the industry, the actor has been around for long enough to be called a veteran, however, he refuses to be called one. At the tender age of 64, Kher has no plans to retire any time soon.
Speaking to Hindustan Times in an interview, the actor was asked how he survived 35 years in a throat-cutting industry like Bollywood. Anupam said, "Being in the industry for 35 years reaffirms your faith that you don’t need anything, except hard work. You can be the son of a clerk who works in the forest department, and survive for all these years, and do 515 films. This country has given me so much. How many people come to Mumbai and make it?"
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My 1st film #Saaransh was released on the 25th Of May, 1984. It has been 35 years since then. I was 28 & I played a 65yr old #BVPradhan. It seems like a long journey. But to me it is just the beginning. Thank you all for your love, warmth and appreciation. Keep blessing me. I’ve a long way to go. #SwipeLeft #35YearsOfAnupamKher #HappyBirthdayToMe #ShimlaToNY #JoyOfActing #LifeIsBeautiful
The Wednesday movie star also shared his biggest challenge and how he managed to stay grounded till date. He stated, "My biggest challenge has been to not give up. That’s why I broke a lot of moulds. I was 27 when I played a 65-year-old man, when typecasting was a reality. I broke that myth. You keep doing things which are relevant. I have just begun."
Anupad added, "My biggest low was when my company went haywire. I almost went bankrupt 15 years back, when I had facial paralysis. In one year, I lost four most important people including my father, filmmaker Yash Chopra, my manager Shetty and I went through depression. And it's not like I don't feel depressed anymore, or I don't feel low. It's just that when I do, I remember June 3, 1981 when I had first come to Mumbai."
Despite being an outsider to the Bollywood fraternity while starting out, Anupam has come a long way. "It’s just the beginning because one of the reasons of finding work abroad is that the world tries to make you retire by calling you a ‘thespian’ or ‘veteran’. But you decide when you want to take up work and don’t. It’s very important to reinvent yourself as a person and as an actor. It is also important that you surround yourself not with ‘yes’ men, but who tell you the truth," concluded the star.