Anupam Kher is one of the most sought-after actors in India and has more than 500 films to his name, over his three-and-a-half-decade-long career. He has made waves in the industry and has worked long and hard to achieve his status and garnered a lot of success along the way. Anupam Kher is recognised for his roles in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dilwalay Dulhania Le Jayenge, Ram Lakhan and Bend It Like Beckham. With all this success however, it is pertinent to note that his journey has not at all been easy. While he dreamed of becoming an actor ever since he was a teenager, he had to go through several obstacles to achieve his goals.
Anupam Kher recently spoke about his journey and where he derived his passion from. "I got my calling when I acted in a play in 9th grade. I couldn't say my lines well, so they were given to someone else. But during the play, he forgot to say them! So I made something up in my broken English - the audience was in splits!" he said.
Anupam always loved being on the stage and from a very young age wanted to pursue a career in acting. "I saw an ad for a course in Chandigarh and needed Rs 100 for the audition. I stole it from my mom and told her I was going for a picnic. Thankfully, I was accepted! So I went to Chandigarh to study acting. I was a teacher for 2 years, before I saw an ad that a drama school in Mumbai was hiring," he revealed.
When he arrived at acting school, the institution had no funds and he was given a small room to stay in. “I didn't want to go back a failure. So I taught there, while auditioning and performing in plays. It was hard - at one point I had no work, money or help. I had to live on beaches and sleep on platforms," he said.
There came a point in the veteran actor’s career that he almost gave up and returned home but his grandfather reminded him that "a man who's already drenched in water, shouldn't be scared of rains.” His persistence paid off and he bagged his debut film, Mahesh Bhatt's Saaraansh.
While the actor has had a rough ride, which has been full of ups and downs, Anupam does not want to change anything about his journey. "Today I've done over 500 films. It's been a bumpy ride, but everyday, I thank my failures for bringing me this far. I thank all the people who said no to me, all the people who didn't help me - because if it weren't for them I wouldn't have pushed myself to get where I am today...a place where my dreams, are now my reality," he said.
What an inspiring story!