Sid Makkar is a multi-dimensional actor, who has appeared in various films, television and theatre roles.
Sid has played a role in Lajwanti on Zee TV. Makkar has lead the cast in Bollywood films Turning 30, Straight (2009 film), Dus Tola and Luck by Chance.
His foreign movie roles include The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (1 & 2). He has also lead the cast in the independent Australian sport film Save Your Legs! and in the independent American film Offshore. Since, he made his big break in Hollywood there is no looking back for him now.
He has added another Hollywood feather to his cap by landing a role in the sensational show Sense 8. The show is by the Wachowskis (the makers of The Matrix Trilogy) and has received worldwide recognition. It has a multinational star cast with actors like Anupam Kher, Bae Doona, Tina Desai, Purab Kohli and Aml Ameen, to name a few. Sense8 is aired on Netflix for the Indian audience, as well.
He is also active on the theatre scene having worked in a number of plays (Hindi and English) as well as having played the title role in the musical Zangoora. Recently, he became a part of India’s first entertainment channel to foray into the theatre i.e. Zee Theatre. Along with this he will be playing a pivotal role in Lillete Dubey’s play Where did I Leave my Pardha, which has already received rave reviews in other cities.
On a personal note, Sid loves working out and is a lot into ‘Health & Fitness’. He likes to mix things up and does yoga at times with weight training. Or swimming and a sport like tennis. Currently, he runs and goes to the gym on alternate days. He is a karate brown belt and has done some Krav Maga (an Israeli martial art).
How was your childhood?
I was born and brought up in Mumbai. I’m what you call a ‘townie’ or a South Mumbai boy and continue spending a lot of my off time from work in that area and at the same home I lived as a child. Childhood was blissful without a cause for worry. It’s only as a young adult that the smooth life dissipated!
Full education qualifications.
I did my B.Sc in Computer Science and B.Com in Economics. I studied at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A. And I never did use any of that studying even once on a job. If only I knew that I’d take up acting as my profession!
When and how did the acting bug bite you?
I think it was more an unfulfilled ambition of my father which crept into me as a child, though I never took any action towards it except an acting class to see whether I have it in me. I loved it but didn’t have the courage to go towards it. Studied in the U.S.A, loved my life there, but detested what I was studying. The restlessness grew and one day I decided – I’m going to spend my life doing something that makes me happy. And not chase the money! The best decision I ever made. Returned to Mumbai and have been at it ever since.
How did your parents react when you told them that you wanted to take up acting as a career given that this field is so unreliable and unpredictable?
My mother’s initial reaction was ‘Mera Beta Paagal ho Gaya Hai!’ She didn’t talk to me for a while. My father was supportive and secretively happy, acting being his unfulfilled ambition. He just laid one condition ‘Stick with it come what may’; and my condition to him was – ‘You handle Mom’. And we both have stuck to our promises and today my folks are very proud parents!
Which was your first movie? How did you get it?
6 months after going to every film producer’s office, I auditioned for a part with a relatively new cast and crew. Got it just on merit.
It was the lead role in Kis Kiski Kismat paired with Mallika Sherawat. She was relatively unknown. She had a massive hit during the making of our film and suddenly all eyes were on our film as it was her next release.
All seemed great except – the film bombed and I realised…this is what they mean that the real struggle begins only now!
Which was your first play and how did you get it?
After my first film, I got an Independent American film Offshore again through an audition. My tryst with international films began then. A friend asked me to come meet Mahabanoo for a reading of a new play. I hadn’t even considered theatre. I met her, loved the play, loved her and loved performing on stage. And I’ve been doing it ever since. The play was Yasmina Reza’s Art.
Which was your first teleserial and how did you get it?
I was getting a lot of TV offers but I would arrogantly say – ‘I will never work on TV’. I started working in a few plays with Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal. A play I did with her Lift Karade opened at Prithvi and I had 5 TV offers from different channels that very weekend. One of them said yes to the amount I had quoted…I was stunned! That’s how I ended up doing a show called Betiyaan on Zee TV. But everything I have done has been an adventure.
Which was your very first shot? Were you nervous?
My first shot was with Dharmendra in my first film. I was playing his brash son and the scene was an argument with him and I had to talk back to him. I was so in the zone, so well prepared, so rehearsed, so believed my character…that I never was nervous! I was on a high.
Tell us about any other incident concerning your career.
After working on television early in my career (very much for the money), I decided that never will I take on any work that I’m not proud of. And since then, I’ve worked in movies (both Indian and international), television, on stage, short films, commercials and now even a web series coming up….but never have I done work that I can’t watch myself or am not proud of.
What are your current projects?
I have just wrapped up shooting for Sense 8. It’s a Netflix series directed by the Wachowskis (makers of The Matrix). My next is a web series, a Hindi film thereafter and a TV series later in the year. More about them once we’re closer to production.
Would you like to talk about any project other than the above?
My Leading parts in Hindi films have primarily been Independent films, what we call Multiplex films for a niche audience. Like Turning 30 (with Gul Panag), Dus Tola (with Manoj Bajpayee), Straight (with Vinay Pathak) and a part in Luck by Chance.
I’ve loved working in the International films I’ve done – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Save Your Legs (Australian) and Sense 8.
And on stage Zangoora deserves a special mention. It’s a Bollywood musical at Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon. I played the protagonist for 3 years along with Hussain.
What do you see 10 years hence?
As far as the work is concerned, just continuing to do the work as an actor and in the entertainment industry all across the globe and being happy.
What do you do when not acting?
Read books, watch movies, play a sport, travel, work out and spend time with my parents.